Friday, November 23, 2012

Cardinal virtues and counterfeit virtues


The cardinal virtues are wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.  They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns.  We find them discussed in Plato’s Republic and given a more given systematic exposition in Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae.  

For Plato, these virtues are related to the three main parts of the soul and the corresponding three main classes in his ideal city.  Wisdom is the characteristic virtue of the highest part of the soul -- the rational part -- and of the highest class within the city, the ruling philosopher-kings.  Courage is the characteristic virtue of the middle, spirited part of the soul, and of the soldiers who constitute the second main class in the city.  Moderation is the characteristic attribute of the lowest, desiring part of the soul and of the lowest, productive class of the city.  Justice in turn is the proper ordering of the three parts of the soul and the city, each doing its part.
  
When reason is in charge and the spirited part of the soul -- the part driven by a sense of honor and shame -- is doing reason’s bidding in keeping down the desiring part of the soul, allowing its appetites to be indulged only when reason dictates, the soul is just.  And when the philosopher-kings -- those motivated by a rational, disinterested pursuit of the good of the city -- are in charge of the city, the soldiers following their lead in governing the city, and the productive class focusing their attention on that to which they are best suited (farming, building, craftsmanship, and the like), the city is just.  Injustice is a deviation from this order -- the spirited part or the desiring part dominating the soul, or the soldiers or productive class dominating the government of the city.  

Plato’s famous analysis of the four main types of unjust regime develops this theme.  A timocracy or honor-oriented society puts the military virtues ahead of reason.  This is disordered, but still the least bad form of unjust city in Plato’s view, since at least it is an objective and non-appetitive standard -- the will to pursue what is honorable and avoid what is shameful -- that is idealized.  An oligarchy or money-oriented society is worse, because it is driven by the appetitive part of the soul, but it is still not the worst kind of regime, since the pursuer of wealth must at least puts chains on his appetites to some extent, respecting bourgeois values like thrift and long-term thinking.  Democracy, as Plato understands it, is worse still, since it effectively puts the lowest appetites in charge.  Like the never-satisfied and competing impulses toward food, sex, and drink that dominate a degenerate individual soul, a democratic society is dominated by the same impulses, and its social life and politics are chaotic, characterized by passing fads and resistant to the idea that there might be any permanent and objective standard against which the fads and impulses might be judged.  Tyranny, the worst kind of regime, is essentially what results when a particular democratic soul, driven by especially strong appetites, imposes its will on the rest.

This analysis and its relevance to modern politics and culture deserve a write-up of their own, but for the moment let’s consider the fate of the cardinal virtues in a modern democratic society.  The words “wisdom,” “courage,” “moderation,” and “justice” are certainly not absent in such societies.  To some extent the content of the traditional virtues is even respected -- democratic citizens will approve of the courage they read about in military history or see portrayed in movies like Saving Private Ryan, will commend moderation where overindulgence might affect bodily health, and so forth.

But much more prominent than the cardinal virtues -- and to a large extent coloring the conception democratic man has of the content of the cardinal virtues -- are certain other character traits, such as open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness.  The list will be familiar, since the language of these “virtues” permeates contemporary pop culture and politics, and it can be said to constitute a kind of counterpoint to the traditional cardinal virtues.  And in each case the counter-virtue entails a turn of just the sort one might expect given Plato’s analysis of democracy -- from the objective to the subjective, from a focus on the way things actually are to a focus on the way one believes or desires them to be.

Hence wisdom, as a Plato or Aquinas conceives of it, is outward-oriented, involving a grasp of objective truth in the speculative and practical spheres.  Open-mindedness, by contrast, is oriented inwardly, toward the subjective, concerned not with objective reality itself so much as with a willingness to consider alternative views about objective reality.

Courage has to do with the will to do what one ought to do in the face of danger or difficulty.  The courageous man will do his duty even though he is afraid or feels uncomfortable or put upon, and we praise him precisely for ignoring these subjective feelings.  Empathy, by contrast, involves precisely a focus on such feelings -- indeed, even to the point of sympathizing with the one who has failed to be courageous.  Courage says: “Yes, it was difficult; but you should have done it anyway.”  Empathy says: “I understand why you didn’t do it; it was so difficult!”

Similarly, moderation tells us that we sometimes need to refrain from indulging our appetites, in some cases even when we have an extremely powerful desire to indulge them.  Tolerance, by contrast, refuses to condemn such indulgence.  Toleration works in tandem with empathy, as moderation works together with courage.  Just as courage is reason’s ally in keeping the appetites at bay -- it reminds us that it is weak and shameful to indulge when reason says we shouldn’t -- so too is empathy the ally of the appetitive part of the soul in its war with reason, giving it permission to indulge and to ignore what unkind, unfeeling reason is saying.  Courage and moderation command: “You’re a human being!  Don’t act like animal!”  Empathy and toleration respond: “We understand, go ahead, you’re just an animal anyway!”  

Finally, whereas justice requires us to conform our desires to the order of things, fairness commands the order of things to conform itself to our desires.  Justice says: “John is richer than you are and Paul has more authority.  But that is as it should be, since John worked harder and Paul is wiser.”  Fairness says: “John is richer than you are and Paul has more authority.  That’s not fair!”  Justice treats equals equally and unequals unequally.  Fairness treats everyone equally; or rather, it treats everyone the way the one shouting “Unfairness!” thinks they should be treated.

Now, all of that makes the counter-virtues in question sound pretty bad -- or it should make them sound bad, anyway -- but I hasten to add that none of this entails that there is nothing of value in open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness.  Far from it.  The objective truth at which wisdom aims is not all built into us and it is not all obvious; it needs to be acquired through hard work.  Open-mindedness facilitates that.  Realistically inculcating the virtues, including courage, requires an understanding of actual human circumstances, including human weaknesses.  That requires empathy.  The road to virtue is, given human weakness, inevitably paved with repeated failures to live up to it.  Tolerance of these failures (albeit not approval of them) is, accordingly, no less necessary to the realistic inculcation of virtue than empathy is.  And some inequalities really are rightly decried as unfair insofar as they arise from injustice.  (John might be richer than you because he is more hard-working.  But it might instead be because he is a thief or a fraudster or someone who knows how to game the system.)

So, there can be real value in open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, and a wise man will acknowledge this.  But it is crucial to see that their value is instrumental.  They are of secondary value, of significance precisely insofar as they facilitate the acquisition of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.  A soul which strives primarily to acquire those traditional cardinal virtues, even while acknowledging the value within limits of open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness in the process of acquiring them, is rightly ordered.  But a soul which primarily values open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, and either rejects the traditional cardinal virtues or relegates them to second place, is disordered.  Similarly, a rightly ordered society will value the traditional cardinal virtues over open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, whereas a society which celebrates the latter over the former is disordered.  Even if it uses the language of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, it will not respect or promote true virtue, but only its counterfeit.

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Christian Daru said...

Great post Dr. Feser. I know you're very busy, so if you could answer this I'd greatly appreciate, but I completely understand if you can't. I want to get a Masters and PhD in philosophy. Currently I'm a junior at Regis University in Denver. One grad school I've looked into and think would be a good choice is University of St. Thomas in Houston. I was wondering what your thought are on it, and where some good grad school philosophy programs are? Thanks and I hope your thanksgiving was good.

Martin said...

Ironically, my first thought while reading this was that the cardinal virtues seemed... instrumental. Courage could mean the courage to do evil; wisdom/prudence could enable someone to do harm more effectively. If courage and wisdom are regarded as cardinal virtues, why not e.g. power? If you're completely powerless, you can hardly do much good, much in the same way that you can't do good unless you have the wisdom to judge which actions are appropriate.

And whether moderation is appropriate seems highly context-dependent (which makes you wonder why indulging our appetites isn't a virtue in those other contexts), and personally, I see justice more as a decent rule of thumb than an absolute good. I don't think people should necessarily get what they deserve - if a society can afford to give everyone more than they deserve, then I can't see why not.

Papalinton said...

"Similarly, a rightly ordered society will value the traditional cardinal virtues over open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, whereas a society which celebrates the latter over the former is disordered."

So what is this? A theocracy, particularly a catholic theocracy is the only model of governance in which traditional cardinal virtues and the demands of the soul can be reconciled?

In your wildest dreams, Prof. Feser. No, Professor, 'forward to the past' is neither a serious nor sober option.

Edward Feser said...

Christian,

Univ of St. Thomas is good. You might think about Fordham as well.

Martin,

That courage might be exhibited in pursuing an end that is itself either good or bad does not suffice to make it merely instrumental. Anyway, all that the point of the post requires is that open-mindedness, empathy, etc. are instrumental relative to the cardinal virtues. Whether the latter are themselves instrumental is a separate question.

Papalinton,

If you'd bothered carefully to read the post -- as opposed to reading your own paranoid fantasies into the post -- you'd have noticed that it doesn't say anything about Catholicism, theocracy, or indeed (apart from the reference to the title of Aquinas's Summa) theology at all. (Not even with regard to the soul -- Plato's use of the word in this specific context, which I was following, need not entail an immaterial principle. One could just as well speak of three aspects of human nature, three aspects of the human mind, or whatever.)

Nor does the post endorse any other particular political system, including the one set out in Plato's Republic (which I
certainly do not endorse). It's concerned only with the relative importance of the cardinal virtues on the one hand and the "counter-virtues" I've described on the other. And surely even an atheist might agree that wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice are superior to open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, no? (I certainly would have back in my atheist days.)

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Plato's Republic is a paradigm of Sparta. All the Spartiates were trained into Virtue.

I don't have my library here but the pseudo-Aristotelian book Virtues and Vices is a good book on Virtues.

Here is the definition of Righteousness which Dr. Feser calls Justice:
"To righteousness it belongs to be ready to distribute according to desert, and to preserve ancestral customs and traditions and the established laws, and to tell the truth when interest is at stake, and to keep agreements. First among the claims of righteousness are our duties to the gods, then our duties to the spirits, then those to country and parents, then those to the departed; and among these claims is piety, which is either a part of righteousness or a concomitant of it. Righteousness is also accompanied by holiness and truth and loyalty and hatred of wickedness".

That is what a Virtuous man does.

The word "courage" is not the right word in English to translate that word. "Andreia" is the Greek word and it encompasses much more than just "courage". Manliness is also includes "Hardness". In the book, effeminacy is transposed against "Andrea". Effeminacy is 'soft'. The Doric Greeks had a saying "The Good comes thru the Hard". And the Natural Law is "Like begats like". The Good can not come thru soft men. Manliness includes within it "Hardness".

Furthermore, the Latin word "Virtue" literally means "to be a man". Virtue is the excellencies of a Man. No virtue--an incomplete man.

Patrick said...

Hello Dr. Feser, interesting post. One perplexity I remember encountering whilst trying to make sense of the cardinal virtues was reconciling them with death. If realising the virtue of courage can necessitate dying, how can virtue be perfective of human beings? Can an adequate answer be supplied without invoking the theological virtue of hope?

Aquinas3000 said...

I prefer the terminology, prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice. Wisdom is not the same thing as prudence so that is liable to cause confusion. Wisdom sees things from a universal viewpoint whereas prudence dictates how to apply a principle here and now to this concrete situation.

Erik and Becky said...

The discussion of objective vs. subjective virtues strikes a chord with me. The school where I teach has been moving away from traditional subjects towards things like 'global studies" and 'social engagement.' In one of my classes recently, I was teaching cardinal directions in Latin and trying to practice them with simple question-answer dialogues with my students. Finding that they struggled with the geography of Europe, I attempted some questions about American states. Still finding my students bewildered, I threw up my hands and asked "Don't they teach you geography in social studies?" to which one of my brighter students responded, "No. They teach us empathy, compassion, and global citizenship." In the academy at large, -ologies seem to be being abandoned in favor of "studies." I can't help but think this shift in terminology also changes the idea signified and represents a lack of confidence in the accessibility of a logos as a goal of education. Our students will become what we train them to be. We all have a duty to do as much as we can to guide the youth toward an objective basis for understanding reality. (I am 27 and teach kids 12-14. It's amazing how many of them have already imbibed materialism and nominalism!)

Anonymous said...

Dr Feser: An interesting post. But I'm afraid you're wasting your time attempting to engage rationally with Papalinton. He is a frequent commentator at Victor Reppert's blog and is not taken seriously there because he is simply incapable of rational thought. I don't mean this as an attack on Papalinton-it's simply a fact. Go there yourself if you wish. When it comes to religion this man is simply incapable of normal reasoning-it's like talking to a mad man or a brick wall. So I must warn you that you engage him at your peril; he cannot be reasoned with and attempting to educate him will only make matters worse.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

"All knowledge when separated from justice and virtue is seen as cunning and not wisdom" (Menexenus, §246 e-§247a)

As we can see in previous threads here, many people engage in cunning and not wisdom. One can say that Justice Roberts decision on Obamacare is an example of cunning.

The changing of his mind and his convulted reasoning and his descent into Ockamite splitting shows his lack Virtue.

Virtue is necessary before anyone can approach Wisdom (or Philosophy).

I prefer the Greek terminology for it is more expressive than either Latin or English. The Greek word for Virtue is "Arete". Arete is the center of Greek Culture. Arete is the driving force for the Greeks, the constant striving for excellence.

This striving for excellence is a corallary to philosophy for philosophy seeks the divine--to become divine. Virtue is this excellence. No excellence in character--no philosophy. Virtue and philosophy go hand in hand. You can't have philosophy without virtue.

Eduardo said...

Well we don't need to worry!!!

The world will burn in .... something .... that is not exactly fire I hope...

AND FROM THE ASHES THE PHOENIX OF OUR SOCIETY WILL BORN!!!!!

... I gotta stop watching apocalyptic movies...

MarcAnthony said...

Dr. Feser, I don't have much to say except that this is one of my favorite articles that you've written. Excellent.

Verbose Stoic said...

I very much like this post. I'm working on a Stoic/Kant inspired moral view in the background based around virtues, and find myself very opposed to the elevation of the "counterfeit" virtues to be the judges of all that is right and moral, especially empathy. This post highlights why in a way that I didn't really realize myself, and even captures my distrust of democracy. Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Great article Dr Feser! I can use some of this data in my own life.

Radik said...

Very interesting post, although, I think, it uses a non-standard definition of virtue.

St. Augustine defines virtue as follows:

"Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which we live righteously, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us, without us."

St. Thomas follows him in this. See his reasons for endorsing it (ST I-II Q. 55 Art. 4 http://www.josephkenny.joyeurs.com/CDtexts/summa/FS/FS055.html#FSQ55A4THEP1)

So, by definition, a virtue cannot be used for evil things. St. Thomas:

"The end of virtue, since it is an operative habit, is operation. But it must be observed that some operative habits are always referred to evil, as vicious habits: others are sometimes referred to good, sometimes to evil; for instance, opinion is referred both to the true and to the untrue: whereas virtue is a habit which is always referred to good: and so the distinction of virtue from those habits which are always referred to evil, is expressed in the words "by which we live righteously": and its distinction from those habits which are sometimes directed unto good, sometimes unto evil, in the words, "of which no one makes bad use."

Papalinton said...

Prof Feser
Your explanation? I don't buy it. You seem now to be simply backpedalling from the corpus of your OP. Why write the OP if you are not prepared to defend it per se? Qualifying post-facto is not a useful strategy. It is a Apologetical strategy.

You say, "It's concerned only with the relative importance of the cardinal virtues on the one hand and the "counter-virtues" I've described on the other. " And in that very statement you foreclose on all meaningful context; it's not about catholicism, it's not about theocracy, it's not about Aquinas's Summa. Indeed it seems to be not about anything in particular, not even with regard to the soul.

Then what is germane at the disjunction of cardinal and counter virtues in an a-contextual setting? Surely this discourse ought be posited relative to a context, no? And yet you've precluded all relative contexts in which the interplay of these supposedly competing virtues vie for supremacy. Methinks a spot of reductio ad absurdum might be in play here.

You finally say. "And surely even an atheist might agree that wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice are superior to open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, no?" I don't see a dichotomy of superiority or inferiority is of any relevance here. To talk of superiority is to invoke a misplaced hierarchy, a theologised version of modern life in which the ancient arts of Aquinas now no longer fit comfortably. Society has grown and moved on. The idea of a society that exemplifies open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance and fairness, is disordered, is just rhetorical silliness. Fair-mindedness, empathy, tolerance and fairness are simply tangible and observable expressions of that which define wisdom, courage, moderation and justice. They are not an either/or proposition.

"If you'd bothered carefully to read the post -- as opposed to reading your own paranoid fantasies into the post ..."
I resent your personalized attack on my character. Is your stance emblematic of the christian upbringing you received, or do jesus's words only apply to other christians?

Crude said...

I resent your personalized attack on my character.

It wasn't a 'personalized attack on your character', it was a comment on your reading comprehension and your knowledge. Stating the obvious, really.

This seems like as good a time as ever to remind everyone that Linton is a known liar and plagiarist, whose lies and plagiarism were mostly employed to cover up his ignorance while he attempts to troll, poorly. That's quite a trifecta.

As most people familiar with him realize - he's better off being ignored. There are better people to spend your time conversing with, including better atheists, than this. Value your time, and spend it elsewhere.

Papalinton said...

I forgive you, Crude.

Crude said...

Ed,

Also, to get back on topic - thanks a lot for this post. The idea of positing those four 'virtues' as instrumental rather than as ends themselves is a pretty interesting way to put it, and strikes me as compelling (at least, given the background of natural law I've gleaned.) I absolutely have seen all four offered as ends-in-themselves, which always struck me as wrong - but this is a new, concise way to discuss the whole situation.

Scott W. said...

The combox of this entry needs a flea bath Dr. Feser.

Ismael said...

". Fair-mindedness, empathy, tolerance and fairness are simply tangible and observable expressions of that which define wisdom, courage, moderation and justice. They are not an either/or proposition."

Dear Papalinton,

indeed these counter virtues are 'expressions' of the Cardinal Virtues... but are NOT Cardinal Virtues themselves, i.e. they are not the foundation on which other virtues are hinged upon.

So basically you contradict yourself with your own statement.

--

Society has grown and moved on. The idea of a society that exemplifies open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance and fairness, is disordered, is just rhetorical silliness.

Not really, since contemporary society IS, indeed, morally disordered.

So Feser's point rather than 'rhetorical silliness' is rather a painful truth.

--

Society has grown and moved on

Well... so what? Society always changes, not always for the better either.

This does not mean that certain argumentations are 'society dependent' ... and indeed Aquinas' arguments are not.


---

To talk of superiority is to invoke a misplaced hierarchy, a theologised version of modern life in which the ancient arts of Aquinas now no longer fit comfortably.

Whether Aquinas' work sits comfortably or not in 'modern life' is quite irrelevant, since it does not mean it is more o less true than it was before.

Also if you think modernity has trumped 'hierarchy' you are quite mistaken. Hierarchy exists on different level: in the material world, and in science as well.

In theoretical models hierarchy plays a fundamental role, for example, since a scientists must decide with details must be taken in to account and which ones can be ignored... think for example of the Franck-Condon principle or the Kohn–Sham approximation in many-body quantum-mechanics (a field I often work with btw)... here some things are less important than others... i.e. there IS an hierarchy.
So also in discussing virtues there are virtues which are clearly more general and higher and virtues that are by themselves only dependent on the higher ones.
I think your mistake is an anti-theologized approach: i.e. your line of reasoning must be “since something was used by a theologian it must false or obsolete”.
This kind of reasoning is what often makes (good) scientists make awful and really idiotic statements at times too. They are blinded by fundamentalist scientism and modernism, leading them to defend very awkward and indeed indefensible positions.

Ismael said...


"If you'd bothered carefully to read the post -- as opposed to reading your own paranoid fantasies into the post ..."
I resent your personalized attack on my character. Is your stance emblematic of the christian upbringing you received, or do jesus's words only apply to other christians?






I think this comeback of yours shows your lack of understanding. Of Christianity itself too (well no surprize here though).

To rightfully critique someone's mistake is not a personal attack, but it is indeed something good.

So a good Christian will not be shy about telling you that you are wrong, if he thinks so.

An atheist on the other hand will maybe act kind only because he's indifferent and cares only about himself.

The 'be always kind no matter what' half baked 'virtue' that is praised these days is not really a virtue.
Kindness is the shadow of love/charity, but only a shadow of it.
Being excessively kind, finally, is the shadow of selfishness.

If someone is truly good he or she cannot always be kind, because that will only let people who commit a mistake perpetrate such mistake, usually making it worse and worse.

For example: It's like a teacher that gives A+ to all students even those who deserve an F. That would not be good, it would be selfish, a teacher that either does not care ot is afraid or bothered to tell a student that he is wrong.

A GOOD teacher is a teacher who gives B's, C's, D's and indeed F's... since a person will never learn unless he's told its mistake.
A GOOD teacher will care and have the COURAGE to tell a student he's wrong.

And this, applies to tolerance as well, for example. One cannot be tolerant of evil, for example, that would go against Justice.

Joe K. said...

Ed (or anyone),

Would you classify the "counterfeit" virtues much differently than "vice" as it's usually understood? I think this post is completely fascinating. I love reading about the virtues. Thanks, Ed.

seanrobsville said...

Unfortunately, we have had no recent experience with philosopher kings. The nearest approximations in modern times have been those absolute rulers heavily influenced by philosophers such as Nietzsche and Marx; rulers who followed their mentors' philosophical recommendations for the right ordering of society.

These philosophically educated potentates are to be contrasted with their enemies among the ignorant degenerate democrats, such as Churchill who was a slave to his lowest appetites with his huge consumption of brandy and cigars.

Patrick said...

For all interested in this topic, I highly recommend reading:

Josef Pieper on the four cardinal virtues: http://archive.org/details/fourcardinalvirt012953mbp

and David Oderberg on 'The Cardinality of the Cardinal Virtues' : http://www.davidsoderberg.co.uk/

W.LindsayWheeler said...

In order to do philosophy, understand Christianity and virtue, one should be at the least an armchair classicist. One has to know Greek culture for when St. Peter writes, "Supplement Faith with Arete", what definition is he using? St. Augustine's? or St. Thomas Aquinas's? Neither.

When St. Peter used that word Arete, he is using a Greek term of that has had a storied use in Greek culture and was widespread in the Hellenistic culture of his day. Here is a peasant Gallilean using a very Greek term. Almost unreal.

Instead of using St. Augustine or St. Thomas, one should read the German Classicist Werner Jaeger and his three volume work Paideia. His first three chapters is all about Arete and were it comes from.

Arete comes from the Greek Aristocratical class. It was they who first practiced it! 'Arete' and 'Aristos' share the same root word. Virtue has nothing to do with democracy but everything to do with the three good forms of government. Virtue can be had in either Monarchy, Aristocracy, or in Classical Republicanism (i.e. mixed government; it is the politiea of Aristotle). (Modern republicanism is 180 degrees different from Classical Republicanism; don't confuse the two of them.)

The word Arete used by St. Peter (II Peter, 1.5) may best be described, articulated by the pseudo-Aristotelian work Virtues and Vices which was written circa 1st Century B.C. The meanings and definitions there is what Holy Scripture would have approved of when St. Peter wrote that. That definition and what are the virtues were current in the Hellenistic Age in which Christianity was born. That is what we are to use.

Arete is different depending upon which it is applied to. The Arete (virtue) of a woman is different than the the Arete (virtue) of a man. Whereas the Latin word 'virtus' is specifically male oriented, the Greek is non-gender, non-species, specific. Arete is applied to animals, birds, humans and to the genders and classes of humans. Arete just means 'Excellence', Perfection. This is also the essence of the aristocratical class of any race.

The German classicist Werner Jaeger really is the only real source of what Arete really means. Nobody can really understand the term without reading his expertise on the subject.

Papalinton said...

Ismael
"indeed these counter virtues are 'expressions' of the Cardinal Virtues... but are NOT Cardinal Virtues themselves, i.e. they are not the foundation on which other virtues are hinged upon.
So basically you contradict yourself with your own statement."


Ismael, a qualified yes on the first count and no on the second count. Fairmindedness, empathy, tolerance and fairness are not counter-virtues. Counter virtues are the antithesis of virtues These qualities have been mistakenly branded. The counter virtue of wisdom is ignorance, the counter virtue of courage is cowardice, and injustice for justice. To be fair-minded is not the antithesis of justice, tolerance is not the antithesis of moderation. Indeed fairmindedness and tolerance are enablers of the cardinal virtues. Being fair-minded is an expression of wisdom. Please give me an example where fair-mindedness is anything other than wisdom in action.

I can but surmise that Dr Feser introduces them somewhat egregiously and purposely brands them as counter-virtues in the OP for either religious political and/or catholic theological reasons. I say this because his views on contemporary society are well known and he doesn't like the trends. As he says, the talk of fairmindedness, tolerance, fairness and empathy is awash in today's community, But that a a good thing, just as it should be. His real beef is that all this talk is going on outside his catholicized vision. Indeed society has moved on but it has moved on in the sense that the catholic perspective is no longer relevant to the discussion. The catholic vision is no longer front and centre in the public square. And he doesn't like it. And whether he likes it or not, that is just as it should be in a maturing society.

The world has more fairmindedness, tolerance, empathy and fairness today than there ever has been in human history, even more than when christianity was at its zenith. Steven Pinker has done some great research ON THIS, and his book is a must read. A review can be found HERE

This Reference takes you to a podcast on the findings in his book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined".

Of course the spleen of David Bentley Hart must not be overlooked, HERE. Any declared reduction in violence in the world would be anathema to his religious belief. For him a religion needs violence as surely as a drunk needs alcohol. Otherwise there would be no call for his brand of pastoralism.

On balance we are in a good place at the moment with less likelihood of religious End Times or Armageddons or Apocalypses. The greater levels of empathy, fairness, tolerance and fairmindedness now expressed in a democracy such as ours are a positive measure of our goal of wisdom, courage, justice and moderation.

Eduardo said...

If I remember correctly apprently Dr Pinker just considered wars and pretend that crimes aren't bad. Then he went to divide the deaths in war by the total population.

So basically the only way his idea works is if you say that peace and prosperity is just to have low chances of getting killed in a war.

Eduardo said...

"The greater levels of empathy, fairness, tolerance and fairmindedness now expressed in a democracy such as ours are a positive measure of our goal of wisdom, courage, justice and moderation."

Actually you can train people to just tolerate other people but inside they anger and enraged by other people. The internet is filled with people like that... To me tolerance come from understanding and people don't give two quarters of a fuck to understand any body else, so yeah we can pretend the world is a great beautiful place in our heads while ignoring how we behave to one another.

Tom Simon said...

Eduardo —

Actually you can train people to just tolerate other people but inside they anger and enraged by other people.

A very common malady. Maybe that’s why so many of the people who think ‘tolerance’ is the ultimate virtue suddenly start crying for ‘zero-tolerance’ policies as soon as they’re up against something they actually disapprove of.

Brandon said...

These philosophically educated potentates are to be contrasted with their enemies among the ignorant degenerate democrats, such as Churchill who was a slave to his lowest appetites with his huge consumption of brandy and cigars.

Unless we're flat-out trying to equivocate, it's perhaps worth pointing out that there was practically nothing about Britain in Churchill's day that was democratic in Plato's sense (even elections, for instance, were considered obviously oligarchical and undemocratic by the Greeks). And if we are going to bring up philosopher kings, it's worth pointing out that Plato makes reasonably clear that every disordered government has its quasi-philosophers, right down to the sophists and rhetors of democracy and violent demagogues of tyranny. Nor is this surprising: it's obviously going to be the case that each regime will have its apologists (namely, those whose lives are ordered in the way most congenial to that regime), and the degeneration of the Kallipolis is a degeneration of philosophy itself as a livable thing, breaking down in coherence from being based on virtue to being based on honor to being based on profit and use to being based on mere tolerance to being based on force -- each stage, as Ed notes, capable only of a mere counterfeit of the goods of which the previous ones are capable. This is why Socrates's recommended treatment is for people to live more philosophical lives, thus improving the tone and character of their society.

Conceivably you're just making a joke; but it's the sort of thing that people can take as a criticism, and it would be merely ignorant as a criticism.

Joe K. said...

Papalinton,

It's like you didn't even read the post. The purpose of the post is to show that these counterfeit virtues (or character traits) have taken the place of cardinal virtues and that this change is a problem. It is not saying that those traits are Vices necessarily. In other words, while those other four things may very well be good (in certain contexts, as Ed notes), they are bad (or pervert or disorder man) when they take the place of, or usurp, the far more important, Cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, moderation, and courage.

You talking about Catholicism, honestly, just makes you sound childish, sorry. No one's talking about Catholicism or any religion At All. This is why people ignore you. Just stop.

Anonymous said...

I honestly see your article as representative of a false dichotomy. The "new virtues" are not in opposition to the old ones and the old ones are not inherently superior.

Wisdom, or prudence if you will, is not an isolated capacity within a society or an individual. Open-mindedness is a fundamental piece of that capacity when balanced by critical analysis. Without the ability to consider many points of view, new ideas, and the constant pressure to adapt that this places on an individual or a society, prudence stagnates into rote fundamentalism. One need not ever choose between them. One benefits from embracing both.

Similarly, courage is no virtue if there is no empathy in it. Courage, at least in our language, is simply the willingness to act when acting would be difficult or potentially harmful. Without empathy to guide it, courage drifts all to easily into cruelty. One need not choose between them. One benefits from embracing both.

Moderation and tolerance work in balance to ensure social equilibrium. Moderation asks us to reign in our own wants and desires. It reminds us that not getting everything we want doesn't mean we're suffering. Tolerance reminds us that the balance will never be perfect and that the occasional inconvenience from others is the price we pay for living with other human beings. Both acknowledge how little control we have over others and how our behavior is primarily our own responsibility.

Justice and fairness are so closely enmeshed that they share the same word in Latin. A just society holds all functioning members to the same basic standard. A fair society doesn't arbitrarily penalize or elevate anyone to a higher or lower standard of justice. You cannot have justice without fairness and you cannot have fairness if there is no justice. One does not ever need to chose between the two. One must pursue both.

Ultimately, this false dichotomy comes from a very poor framing of your virtues. The "cardinal virtues" are operational. They are active. Prudence, courage, moderation, and justice are all things one engages in.

The "new virtues" are observational. They are passive. Open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness are ways of seeing the world before one decides to act. They are balanced by criticism, closed-heartedness, self-advocacy, and opportunity.

You frame the "new virtues" in ways that are very, very imbalanced, then present them against your idealized, balanced understanding of Plato's old ideas. You're not showing someone who is open-minded, for instance, you're showing someone with desire to critically analyze anything that he's told. That isn't the same thing.

- Herr Vec

Papalinton said...

Joe K
"You talking about Catholicism, honestly, just makes you sound childish, sorry. No one's talking about Catholicism or any religion At All. This is why people ignore you. Just stop."

Well there you go, Joe. This is all news to me, somewhat outlandish and yet amusing. Dr Feser distances himself from any Catholic perspective that would be informing his views in this thread on virtues quicker than a New York minute, [ not say anything about] " ...or indeed (apart from the reference to the title of Aquinas's Summa) theology at all. (Not even with regard to the soul)". You too shy away with haste to disclaim any connection with religion. It seems talk of religion suffusing all one's life and its power of informing one's every action and thought, only to be trotted out when convenient. It seems de rigeur these days to disown one's attachment to a belief system if one wishes to be taken 'seriously' when discussing such issues as 'cardinal and counter virtues'. This is becoming quite a common feature with today's believers, hiving off their belief system from the discussion as if inconvenient baggage. Modern Psychology classifies this process as 'compartmentalization'. SEE HERE

I don't resile from atheism and my atheism informs all that I do, honor, respect, compassion, love of humanity, love of family, love of country. Atheism, the acceptance of the irrelevance of theism, is the perspective from which I view life, even of the cherished cardinal virtues that underwrite the qualitative nature of my existence.

So it is interesting to note the speedy disowning of yours and Feser's religious beliefs in this discussion about cardinal virtues which IIRC are core in the pursuit of a supposedly prudent and pious christian life. I know this, as I too was a good strong-believing christian for over two decades before I experienced the revelation that theism was solely a cultural construct. To sequester a discourse on virtues from the main stream of religious thought, particularly as to the virtues, which are intrinsic elements of morality, is a very curious and bizarre attitude.

From my POV, without an operant context, Dr Feser's antiseptic discussion on the merits of cardinal and counter virtues rings hollow.



Anonymous said...

Herr Vec,

The older virtues are superior because they include within themselves the lesser virtues, or the legitimate sides of them, being discussed and are closer to the final end and essence of virtue, or the good life. That is, the newer virtues, so far as they are virtues, as Dr. Feser illustrates, are decidedly instrumental.

Ironically, your confusion comes from your own poor framing of the scale of virtues; you fail to realise the ultimate ends for which all these virtues operate (the Good and, therefore in the human context, the fully human) and to properly relate the virtues to each other under the aegis of these ends.

Also, your description of some of the virtues leaves much to be desired, I'm afraid. For example, moderation is not simply about social equilibrium, nor is it only a negative check on desires. Rather, true moderation is best understood as a dynamic (as opposed to an uninspired splitting of the difference) mediation between excess and defect, a mediation which wisely grasps the true nature and ends of the activity involved.

Anonymous said...

Papalinton,

The problem is you seem to be ignorant of the basic assumptions of Dr. Feser, and traditional Christianity, about virtue and morality; namely, they hold that reason can have access to and inform us of large swathes of morality without requiring an appeal to Christian doctrine or scripture. Platonism and Aristotelianism, for example, eloquently express many of the basic moral conceptions that Christians believe in. That you pass over this obvious fact is strange.

Eduardo said...

Anon

Actually is fully predictable his behavior, if you just stop thinking that he has any desire to discuss truth, philosophy or anything with some objectiveness and start seeing just what he is, an Ideologue of his political views, there will be nothing strange in his behavior, actually all his behavior will be expected and predicted because he is a slave of his own political ideas, of his own idealized view of Man, Society and History.

So stop wasting your breath, all he wants to do is score politically, and he will do whatever it takes to do it.

Papalinton said...

Anonymous says to me:
"The problem is you seem to be ignorant of the basic assumptions of Dr. Feser, and traditional Christianity, about virtue and morality; namely, they hold that reason can have access to and inform us of large swathes of morality without requiring an appeal to Christian doctrine or scripture. Platonism and Aristotelianism, for example, eloquently express many of the basic moral conceptions that Christians believe in. That you pass over this obvious fact is strange."

If that is Dr Feser's intent in this OP, Anonymous, then his, and I assume your perspective, seems to closely parallel that of my atheistic frame of reference. I do fully agree that virtue and morality can indeed be adequately and sufficiently explored without recourse to christian doctrine or scripture. And if your reading of the OP is correct then he and I have more in common than he imagines. Religion is an unnecessary framework in which to discuss the virtues. But I suspect this is not really what Feser is saying or intending despite your protective apologetical spin.

"Platonism and Aristotelianism, for example, eloquently express many of the basic moral conceptions that Christians believe in." This of course is catholic revisionism writ large. A more accurate reading of the circumstance of history is that christianity appropriated pagan Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy for itself as an explanatory tool in the absence of a god-given 'divine rationale' for christian morality and ethics in the first instance. To comprehensively commandeer the totality of pagan Aristotelian thought and dress it as christian thought puts paid to any pretense of christianity or catholicism being specially handed down from a [putatively] live christian supernatural entity.

You say, "That you pass over this obvious fact is strange."
I haven't passed over this obvious fact. Rather, It is me attempting to bring it into the discussion to provide a context. Dr Feser is explicitly clear on this matter; disowning this 'obvious fact'; " ... If you'd bothered carefully to read the post -- as opposed to reading your own paranoid fantasies into the post -- you'd have noticed that it doesn't say anything about Catholicism, theocracy, or indeed (apart from the reference to the title of Aquinas's Summa) theology at all. (Not even with regard to the soul ....".

Catholicism doesn't own Aristotelian philosophy. It borrowed it to put meat on the meagre bones of the christian mythos. Take away Aristotelian thought and christianity is but a contrived collection of 66 [73 if you're a catholic] booklets, an anthology of the history of the human condition in ancient times.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I'd beware of this "Tolerance" idea.

I've read Albert Pike's Morals and Dogmas. In it the word 'tolerance' appears many times. It is a Masonic teaching due to the fact that the end goal of Freemasonry of the Scottish Rite is about building the Unity of Man or rebuilding the Tower of Babel.

Second, if you read Jonathan Israel's books on the so-called "Enlightenment", you will find that all of the Enlightenment writers talked of 'tolerance' as well!

The so-called 'Enlightenment' was a cultural revolution against Christendom. The grand majority of the writers for the 'Enlightenment' were Atheists. One of the biggest shakers was Spinoza who also talked of 'tolerance'.

The Tolerance issue was directed specifically against the Catholic Church and its control and hegemony of Europe's culture!

Both atheists and Jews were suppressed under Catholic governance. There was NO tolerance towards heretics, atheists or Jews. The teaching of tolerance was about freeing these groups from the suppression of Catholicism.

The Natural Law (or law of nature, both phrases mean the same thing) is "Bad company corrupts good morals". It is akin to "One bad apple destroys the bushel". This is a truism in life, in nature. Cancer once started ruins the whole body. Christendom operated under the influence of Plato who called for the interdiction of atheists not for their tolerance.

Tolerance for what? The so-called "Enlightenment" was about destroying, deconstructing Christendom. It was destroying Christendom and setting up a Judeo-Masonic culture in its place. Thomas Paine that ideologue of the American Revolution who was also an atheist, observed:

"A revolution in the state of civilisation is the necessary companion of revolutions in the system of government."
and
"It is a revolution in the state of civilisation that will give perfection to the Revolution of France."

Tolerance was the issue that the atheist and other ideologues used to demogogue the people to lure them out from under Catholicism!

Right now, every rape recorded in Sweden is due to immigrants. In Holland, Vox Day over at his site comments on Dutch girls being targeted for sex industry. Last year, 242 lover boy crimes were investigated by police, half of them involving the forced prostitution of girls under 18....‘There are thousands of girls being preyed on by male gangs in Holland,’ she says. Anita visits schools to warn girls exactly what a lover boy looks like, and makes no bones of the fact that most of the gangs are operated by Dutch-born Moroccan and Turkish men.

Tolerance and Diversity is not Wisdom. Tolerance and Diversity is Masonic, which heavily uses the Kabbala in its writings. It was the atheist writers of the "Enlightenment" that touted Tolerance.

This is not what Plato taught.

Scripture has it, "God dwells only with those that dwell in Wisdom".

Where do we take our teachings from? Who is teaching us? What has been the traditional teaching of the Church? Do you adopt the teachings of the Enlightenment over the traditional teachings of the Church?

That is the question.

seanrobsville said...

@W.LindsayWheeler

The rape and pedophilia epidemic in Europe that you mention isn't caused by tolerance. In fact, quite the reverse, it's a deliberate policy of the world's most intolerant religion. Google 'Sexual Jihad' to discover the motivation of these rape gangs and pedophile networks.

Eduardo said...

I think Sean Lindsay is referring to something more like: Tolerance of people's wrongdoing.

Not the person's feelings while they are planning and executing the wrongdoing.

Now Sexual Jihad... hey say more man, I love a conspiracy!!!

Is true, I really do.

Anonymous said...

Papalinton,

You appear to write random things, things dressed as up rational discussion but actually lacking any real meaning in the context.

Like some unfortunate Christians who argue that Christianity and Hellenic thought should not be combined, you overlook the fact that different frameworks can (more or less) express similar truths. Platonism and Aristotelianism themselves are a good example of this. They differ, but they come to many of the same conclusions, though expressed somewhat differently. Christianity was not meant to be a philosophical system; this does not mean it cannot utilise Hellenic thought, nor that it doesn't carry within itself many of the conclusions and assumptions (though not reach discursively) of Hellenic thought: Christianity did not require Hellenic thought to be realist, for example.

So, as noted, your last comment has little real meaning or insight in the context, it is but a string of randomly thrown together words, it seems to me.

Mr. Green said...

Joe K.: It's like you didn't even read the post.
Anonymous: You appear to write random things

Which is why Crude advised: "As most people familiar with him realize - he's better off being ignored. There are better people to spend your time conversing with, including better atheists, than this. Value your time, and spend it elsewhere."

Emphasis mine, but feel free to make it your own.

Joe K. said...

Papalinton,

No one is shying away from anything. A person can talk about a philosophical issue like morality without mentioning God or religion at all. It is possible that you are so bad at philosophy that you cannot see this, but that does not make it any less true.

"And if your reading of the OP is correct then he and I have more in common than he imagines. Religion is an unnecessary framework in which to discuss the virtues. But I suspect this is not really what Feser is saying or intending despite your protective apologetical spin."

Except Feser's said this about 500 times. In his books and articles on the issue, in most of his posts, and pretty much everywhere he discusses morality, he makes no reference to God or religion (unless it's to clear up misunderstandings or ridiculous accusations). Your ignorance is astounding.

And then you do the classic new atheist thing when you realize this attack isn't going anywhere. If a person who happens to be religious makes an argument about God or about morality or about anything else, but Doesn't base that argument in the Bible or some other thing you have a stock objection to, you say "no fair, you're cheating, you can't do that!"

And when people try to rationally explain to you where you've gone wrong, you just attack random straw men. As I said, just stop.

Papalinton said...

Anonymous
"So, as noted, your last comment has little real meaning or insight in the context, it is but a string of randomly thrown together words, it seems to me."

If that is as it seems to you, Anon, who am I to stand in your way in publicly pleading ignorance in comprehension and following an argument more generally. Your comment is a characteristic ploy of those who, in the face of a direct challenge to the arguably spurious nature of the underlying belief system that motivates the tenor of, for example, this OP, they invariably shuck to casting aspersions on the challenger.

I will not hold it against you if you wish to preserve your teaspoonful of neural connections.

Papalinton said...

Mr Green
I forgive your trespass against me.

Papalinton said...

Joe K
"Except Feser's said this about 500 times. In his books and articles on the issue, in most of his posts, and pretty much everywhere he discusses morality, he makes no reference to God or religion (unless it's to clear up misunderstandings or ridiculous accusations). Your ignorance is astounding."

Let me get this right. You are confirming on behalf of Feser that his christian god and catholicism has absolutely nothing to do with his perspective on morality. You are confirming that Feser's belief in the catholic god and catholicism does not in any way inform his morality. You are confirming that, "In his books and articles on the issue, in most of his posts, and pretty much everywhere he discusses morality, he makes no reference to God or religion.".

And you say my ignorance is astounding? You are clearly in need of an invisible means of support.

Sheesh!

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Why is Philosophy connected to Virtue? Can Philosophy be separated from Virtue? From the Memorabillia. Xenophon talking about Socrates (III. ix 4-5)

Quote:
"Between Wisdom and Prudence he drew no distinction; but if a man knows and practises what is beautiful and good, knows and avoids what is base, that man he judged to be both wise and prudent".


"Avoiding what is base"? Does this sound like tolerance? The term "the good and the beautiful" in the English is one word in the Greek, "Kaloskagathos". Translators sometimes translate that as "gentlemen". But also "kaloskagathos" is the character of the aristocrcy. To be "kaloskagathos" one has to avoid the base.
Quote:

"He said that Justice (dikaoisyne) and every other form of Virtue (arete) is Wisdom (sofia)". ...Hence the wise do what is beautiful and good, ...Therefore since just activity are virtuous actions, it is clear that Justice (dikaios) an every other form of Virtue is W-I-S-D-O-M."

Why is there a connection between Wisdom and Virtue?

Simply, "culture defines politics". "The whole is the sum of its parts". The natural law is "Like begats like". Jesus Christ alludes to this when he talks about Good fruit coming from a good tree and that a bad tree produces bad fruit. Any tree has the science to produce fruit but it is the character of the tree which decides if it is bad or good.

Does anyone look at Adam? Why did God curse the ground? Yes, Adam was disobedient in the garden--but there is an underlying reason why Adam disobeyed. Does anybody recognize that? Why did God curse the ground when it was Adam who sinned? What was the purpose?

Or look at Satan? Why did Satan rebel? Or what led up to him rebelling? Does anybody look at the way Satan as a good angel lived?

Satan and Adam are very similar in a characteristic. That characteristic led them to rebel and disobey.

When one reads Plato, one runs across this phrase constantly "kata physin", "according to nature". All things are "According to Nature". This is what Jesus Christ is getting at about good fruit/good trees and bad fruit/ bad trees. All the mental gymnastics in the world does not make one grasp truth or right. It is from nature because "Like begats Like".

Adam and Satan were both soft. Satan when you read the scriptures was a musician, and surrounded by luxury, gold and jewels. Adam just grew up soft. Led around by his wife.

"Only by the sweat of thy brow, shalt thou eat". Plato's Republic is an expression of Doric culture and philosophy. In it is this proverb "The Good comes thru the Hard". The Good did not come thru Satan or Adam because they were soft.

Philosophy is the grasping of "The Good and the Beautiful". One must be kaloskagathos in order to grasp mentally "The Good and the Beautiful" for the Good and the Beautiful only allows its kind to know Him.

"Like begats like" is the Natural Law. Everything is according to Nature. That is why No Virtue, No philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Is Papalinton for real? He really seems like a tremendously immature Christian trying to make atheists look incredibly stupid. If that's what's going on, I hope he gives it a rest. It's not really necessary. :\

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I have a question for Catholics and Orthodox.

St. Peter said, "Supplement the Faith with Arete (virtue)". (II Peter 1.5) Can someone please point out where that is being done in the Church? Can someone please tell me how the Church accomplishes this?

I for one who has spent 12 years in a private Catholic school, elementary and high school, never heard the word "Virtue", nor the word "Arete". Why is that? And is Virtue and the teaching of that only for "College students"? If so, is that too late to learn "virtue" when Aristotle calls it a habit? When are habits inculcated?

Can Virtue be taught is the question that Socrates asked in the Republic but it seems that we don't know how or when. When does the teaching of virtue start?

So can you teach philosophy to students that have no virtue?

And it is curious to find out that most people don't know what virtue is. The Latin word "virtus" literally means "To be a man". Where is this in Catholicism? Where is Virtus? You know in the movie "McClintock", John Wayne says something very perspacious. He said, "Before one can be a gentleman, one must first be a man".

Is the Catholic Church incompetent in producing men? Did as soon as St. Peter wrote that, "Supplement the Faith with Virtue" did it go to the waistbasket? Has the Church, Catholic or Orthodox, paid any attention to that? Because I see no evidence whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Papalinton trolls around
Where intelligence is found
Wishing to participate
But his mind is not so great
Combox notes straight from the heart
His darkest most corrupted part
Twisting, lying, plagiarizing,
Criticizing, patronizing
All those awful Christians baiting
From whence cometh all his hating?
A place on earth of his own making
His own personal hell.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Let's say Courage is a Virtue.

Is that not a "Habit"? Did not Socrates call it a form of Knowledge?

If I don't know "how to give and take a punch" can I have "Courage" when it comes down to it? If I did not practice fighting when I'm 8 or 12 years old, how can one express courage when 21? If I am not in the habit of facing danger, how can I face danger in the future?

If I know no techniques in defence or offence can one exhibit courage when faced in a situation?

Courage expresses Spirit and Knowledge; combined.

If the Church preaches a utopian society of Peace, Love and Justice which was preached last Sunday, and that it fosters pacifism, if courage is required part of being a man and that requires the knowledge of fighting hand to hand and weapon to weapon, how does the Church foster the Virtue of Courage or does it really foster the vice of effeminacy?

Does not the Virtue of Courage clash with the Marxist culture current in Catholic Churches? My own mom and I've known others that were pacifists and refused to give their sons any warrior skills.

So I'm wondering where is Virtue in the Catholic Church? Can you have Virtue without a man? Can a boy have Virtue?

Virtue came out of the Warrior cultures of Greece. Yet, the Catholic Church promotes the utopian fantasy of Marxism and is quite hostile to any thing about war. Can the Catholic Church uphold and conduct Virtue or does Leon Podles have it right in his book The Church Impotent, the Feminization of Christianity, that the Church is one hodge-podge of effeminates; the Church is the Church of Women; it is a Woman's Church? And can a Church that is so Feminized be teaching virtue? Can it teach virtue to boys?

My mom forbid me to enter the firing range at the Boy Scout camp. She was a feminist. No preacher, no priest, no bishop ever corrected her. In my life, did I attain Virtue, that St. Peter demanded by attached to my faith? Or was I effeminized by my Catholic parents? Why weren't they educated?

I find this talk of "virtue" by Catholics is only lip service. They talk of it--but where is the proof in the pudding? Does the Church want real men?

These are not just rhetorical questions, these are actual life experiences. Where is the Words put into Action? Or is it all just words?

Personally all this "Virtue" talk by Catholics I find supersilly, because all that talk leads to no action. Virtue really does clash with the Modern "Peace on Earth" Church when the Natural Law teaches "Life is War".

See Plato also quotes a Doric teaching or the Doric way, "The harmony between words and deeds". This is important. Where is this Harmony of words and deeds in the Catholic Church?

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I wonder what people's reaction to this New York Times piece is:

I’d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a “perfect being,” or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is “perfect,” we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn’t handle well) or the neck too short (so it’s hard to hold). There’s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what’s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we’d say he’s made a fundamental mistake here: You can’t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

Eduardo said...

Mainly the word perfect has a subjective thing to it, so the real way to do it, is see what perfect means to the Theist philosopher and go from there.

I mean I get the idea, yeah perfect is like a unique characteristic that everybody perceives the same way.

Anyways, G*d most likely wouldn't be perfect to him XD, because of his lack of balance in certain areas.

DavidM said...

Papalinton: "To comprehensively commandeer the totality of pagan Aristotelian thought and dress it as christian thought puts paid to any pretense of christianity or catholicism being specially handed down from a [putatively] live christian supernatural entity."

Really? How so? Christian thought is compatible with Aristotelian thought, so Christian revelation is just a pretense? That appears to be a very silly *non sequitur*. Aristotle wasn't much of a 'pagan' by the way, at least as regards paganisms usual connotations of polytheism - he was much more of a 'theist'.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

In answer to David M, a Prof. Jerry Dell Ehrlich wrote a very fascinating book called Plato's Gift to Christianity.

Christianity basically is a Greek religion. Platonism formed the Hellenistic culture that was throughout the Mediterraneum. Platonism and Hellenism formed the mental outlook of many. Dr. Ehrlich points out that the Septuagint (LXX) through the use of the Greek language, Hellenized the Jews. The occupation of Palestine by Alexander and his future generals started this process.

The Trinity is not a Semitic meme or paradigm. It is Greek. Plato, thru philosophy, came to the realization of a triune god of nous, demiurge, world spirit. This was throughout the area. When Christ said he was God, the Greeks accepted it and the Jews rejected it. Jesus Christ is a type of Greek hero himself, half-god, half-man that is throughout Greek culture. Concept precedes knowledge.

The idea of Truth, Beauty, and The Good are all Greek concepts that influenced the formation of Christianity.

My teacher Archimandrite Boniface Luykx, originally a Norbertine monk, then a abbot of a Ukranian Catholic monastery, who laid the groundwork for Vatican II, also taught the same thing that Christianity enculturated Hellenism. And Hellenism was formed by Plato.

Aristotle is the student of Plato and was considered in centuries following his death a Platonist.

Christianity's other founder is Plato. You might want to say that Christianity has two co-founders; Jesus and Plato. That is why Roman Catholicism is so immersed in Philosophy for. It is the action of the Holy Spirit. For the basis of Greek philosophy or Doric philosophy is the Natural Law which came from Jesus Christ. As Christ is of bi-nature so is the Logos bi-nature and his religion is bi-natural; a sort of Doric syncretism, "The regular combination of different but related parts"...that is the Natural Law.

Anonymous said...

Papalinton,

It appears you lack wit as well as any knowledge of the topics on which you like to spout off.

Come on, is that seriously the best you could do? Neurobabble really doesn't make good insults!

You will notice that, though I attacked your conduct (quite legitimately I feel), I did respond to what you clearly felt had some substance in your post. You totally failed to do this for me.

My point stands, therefore, about the fact that different philosophical and theological frameworks can express similar truths. As Christianity is not a philosophical school of thought and wasn't meant to be. Its expression of truth, especially scripturally, is therefore largely not discursive, but this does not mean it does not share fundamental truths with Hellenic thought. You simply did not respond to this.

Also,Papalinton, you appear to be, like some hack writer, intent on trying to use the most complex word you can think of in any particular context. Complex words are fine and useful, but there is nothing clever in always trying to use the most complex you can think of.

This paragraph struck me as an excellent illustration;

"Then what is germane at the disjunction of cardinal and counter virtues in an a-contextual setting? Surely this discourse ought be posited relative to a context, no? And yet you've precluded all relative contexts in which the interplay of these supposedly competing virtues vie for supremacy. Methinks a spot of reductio ad absurdum might be in play here."

Crude said...

To get back to the OP...

But a soul which primarily values open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, and either rejects the traditional cardinal virtues or relegates them to second place, is disordered.

I think that gets at the heart of the OP. Arguing that open-mindedness, empathy and tolerance have value largely in an instrumental sense would be pretty hard to argue against, I think. Fairness v Justice strikes me as harder, since so many people consider them to be the same thing, and would probably bicker of which examples are fairness and which examples are justice.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

It is quite apropo that "tolerance" makes an appearance.

The Jesuit, Monsignor Leon Meurin, Archbishop of Port-Louis, records in his book “Philosophy of Freemasonry” that "The Hebrews von Hurschfeld and Cotter founded towards end of the 18th century in Berlin the ‘Lodge of Tolerance’. (a lodge of Freemasonry) As said above, the word Tolerance appears quite frequently within Masonic tracts. Spinoza the atheist (in all but words) also encouraged Tolerance.

The Archbishop outs the real reason for this toleration angle:
"Since that time, the Jews used the trick of bringing Jews and Christians closer, to
ideologically and politically control or lead astray the later".


Toleration is a wolve in sheeps clothing. It can not said to be a virtue. All the normal virtues always do good and are directed toward good. But Toleration can be evil intrinsically. Though Toleration can be good intrinsically, it can also be evil intrinsically. Toleration is not a virtue but must be a decision based on Prudence and Wisdom.

The Church in Christendom did not teach tolerance but under the dictates of Prudence called for the segregation of Jews, the interdiction of heretics and atheists. Toleration has a political agenda attached to it. It is also attached to the Novus Ordo. You can't attach any of the cardinal virtues or the other virtues to any political agenda. Toleration has. Toleration can NOT be classed as a virtue. A virtue is Character. Toleration is not a character issue but a judgement issue.

Scripture has it, "Thou be not decieved." What has been the traditional teaching of the Church? Toleration was never that. The whole point of the Renaissance and the "Enlightenment" was to break away and destroy Christendom and set up a new Novus Ordo.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I forgot to add the above quotes are taken from The Plot Against the Church by Maurice Pinay.

Papalinton said...

Anonymous
Oh Dear. Still smarting after having been found out on you inability to comprehend and to follow an argument more generally.

And now he attempts to demonstrate publicly his 'prodigious' command and understanding of language.

Firstly, through a change of tactic: An open question cast among the commentariat, "Is Papalinton for real? He really seems like a tremendously immature Christian trying to make atheists look incredibly stupid." in hopes of garnering support from the like-minded collective of neanderthalic thinkers in order to establish some form of credibility for his position. [No doubt this tactic is a winner when cornered. The tribal instinct of christian cultism runs deep].

Secondly, the poem. The spirits of Donne and Keats are well pleased to have passed on before this momentous occasion.

And thirdly, to apply a tincture of Apologetics, "Its [christianity] expression of truth, especially scripturally, is therefore largely not discursive, but this does not mean it does not share fundamental truths with Hellenic thought" as a universal panacea. [But we all know the non-discursive nature of christian truth is a fallacy, a theological contrivance. It is diffuse and circumlocutory to the core, with some 41,000 [purportedly] reported variants of christianity extant, each expressing their differing truths. See HERE Why would that be?] I take for example, the fundamental truth of transubstantiation. The pope tell everyone at the point in the eucharist that wine and a cracker actually, physically transmogrifies into blood and flesh. Yeah. Right. Pull the other one.

There is real irony here. Perhaps believers do understand the callow and indiscriminate summoning of 'scriptural truth', 'fundamental christian truths' are indeed the very abstractions that sully philosophical discussion, and therefore the somewhat spirited response in decrying all religious content from the OP, and from the master no less.


Papalinton said...

Crude
"To get back to the OP...
"But a soul which primarily values open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, and either rejects the traditional cardinal virtues or relegates them to second place, is disordered."

Yes, indeedy. All about the 'soul'. But which version of soul? Yet another theologized placemarker with a myriad of interpretations. This one from Urban Dictionary seems to capture the range [#9 is particularly inclusive]:

"The existence of the soul is heavily debated in the first place, and its definition varies greatly from party to party, though everyone believes that everyone else's definitions are wrong. It is generally agreed to be something possessed by every person, and that's about all. Therefore, the soul may or may not be any of the following:
1. The human mind, that is, that thinking thing lodged behind your eyes;
2. The essence of humanity;
3. The essence of that which makes a person good and decent;
4. The quality of sentience or human intelligence;
5. All of someone's personality or what makes them unique;
6. Some mystical version of a person that lives on after the body dies;
7. A spiritual concept, created by God (or the gods if you prefer) or a part of him;
8. The quality of being alive;
9. Anything else you can think of along these lines.
Note that it is also up for debate whether or not non-human animals, or for that matter, plants, have souls; feel free to adjust these answers accordingly.
Strangely, no one seems to suggest that animals have souls and humans lack them."


[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=soul]

"I think that gets at the heart of the OP."

Yep. Sure does.



Crude said...

I also wonder what would be the closest candidate for the following kind of society Ed discusses:

Plato’s famous analysis of the four main types of unjust regime develops this theme. A timocracy or honor-oriented society puts the military virtues ahead of reason. This is disordered, but still the least bad form of unjust city in Plato’s view, since at least it is an objective and non-appetitive standard -- the will to pursue what is honorable and avoid what is shameful -- that is idealized.

I'm guessing the closest example would be pre-war Japan? But does 'putting the military virtues ahead of reason' require that be a conscious commitment, or would subconscious do the trick?

Jinzang said...

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Ah, the Jews and the Freemasons, the traditional bugaboos of conservatism when it takes a paranoid turn.

Jinzang said...

Robert Persig carries on a bit about arete in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For him, it's a pre-conceptual gnosis of the truth, defining it this way to tie the Pre-Socratics together with Zen.

Crude said...

Ah, the Jews and the Freemasons, the traditional bugaboos of conservatism when it takes a paranoid turn.

Man, I don't know. Jews feature prominently in paranoid liberal discourse too. Freemasons? That I'm less sure of.

Anonymous said...

The troll Linton's last reply to me is yet another example of an utterly random words thrown together in the vain hope they might form a half-decent argument. It seems the Gnus are so obsessed by Darwinian evolution that they have even taken to constructing their arguments according to analogous principles.

It should be obvious to anyone with with a modicum of intellect that the proliferation Christian sects in recent centuries is besides the point. Indeed, the point was simply a general one about the combination of different intellectual frameworks for expressing similar truths. The example of Platonism and Aristotelianism themselves could be, and was, used as well.

But, apart from that, it is reasonably obvious that what most matters when talking of Christian truth is not the proliferation of modernist error, but the general truth of the Scripture, the Early Church, and traditional Christianity. Or, in other words, those general truths of orthodox, catholic Christianity that were established in the first millennium. Hellenic thought was, to a large degree, compatible with this truth. It had quite a different framework to these Christian truths, whether in its Platonic or Aristotelian forms, but it was compatible nonetheless. You have not shown the slightest hint that the contrary is true.

The randomly introduced topic of transubstantiation simply shows your colossal stupidity. Transubstantiation is the expression in largely Aristotelian terminology of the basic doctrine of the Real Presence held by all traditional Christian denominations. All traditional denominations (Orthodox, Church of the East, the Roman Church, even the more traditional and catholic amongst the Protestant denominations) accept, based on the Scriptures, the Early Church, and the Fathers accept the Real Presence of Christ in the Divine Liturgy. Transubstantiation was the Thomistic attempt, based on Aristotelian thinking, to give discursive formulation to this doctrine. That you would then bring up transubstantiation in the context of asserting, poorly, the radically distinct nature of Christian and Hellenic thought is the ultimate expression of your utter stupidity.

Papalinton said...

Anonymous says: "Off topic, but I wonder what people's reaction to this New York Times piece is:,,,"

I am well pleased with the general tenor of the commenters following that NYT piece. One can spot without difficulty those that are predicated on reason and good sense, and those constrained by dogma.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

@ Jinzang. There is nothing "bugaboo" about it. People need to do the research.

I did not know this but I came aware of this talk by an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Ari Kahn The Messiah in which he specifically teaches that in order for the Jewish messiah to appear there has to be the Messianic Age to appear first. And what does this mean?

It means that World Peace has to be established, and for the supposedly Unity of Man to be restored. And so it is up to the Jews to create this "Messianic Age".

Here is a YouTube Video Rabbi talks to Netanyahu "to hasten the coming of the Messiah". Jews have to create the Messianic Age in order to bring about their messiah.

What does this include?
"Messianism envisions human existence as a three-part process, consisting of an original unity, a middle period in which man has "fallen" into history, and an eschatological final period. Messianism sees history as destined for the restoration of the original unity broken by the sin of Adam. The Jewish discontent with the present is rooted in the feeling of loss of this original harmony and the deep desire for its return. Jewish messianism understands the restoration of the original unity as a public, communal event which occurs on the stage of history. It is here that Jewish and Christian messianism have parted company." (Weisberger, 116)

I don't know how badly you can misread the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis but these guys surely did for God destroyed the Tower of Babel and called it evil.

Well, Jinzang, this ideology is ensconced in Marxism. I point to the book by John Kiang, One World where he points out that Karl Marx wanted to do away with nations and races. This is why communism/Marxism was called "International Socialism" for. International Socialism was just not economics but it had a cultural side. Destroying races and nations in order to bring about the Unity of Man. Freemasonry is also started to create that I point to Adam Weishaut who started the Illuminati branch in a Lodge in Germany.

This is not Christian, nor is it Western culture or civilization. The term Political Correctness was coined in the Soviet Union to spread this ideology and PeeCee is a deracinist ideology; to deracinate in order to bring about Globalization, the Age of the Messiah. All Progressive movements lead to that. Marxism is anti-Christian. It attacks Christianity everywhere and it is a Jewish ideology. Simple. Just do the research. There is nothing bugaboo about it.

Papalinton said...

Anonymous says, "But, apart from that, it is reasonably obvious that ......."

Equivocal? I rest my case.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Roman Catholicism has always been about the upholding and living under the Natural Order which was created by the Natural Law. Our allegiance is to that Jinzang. Not to a supposed Utopia or to helping the Jews bring about the Messianic Age on Earth. Chialism, or Milienarianism is a big heresy.

Toleration was the vehicle to free the Jews from the Suppresion from Roman Catholic hegemony. The idea of "Freedom" was used to deceive the masses to unmake Christendom. It succeeded.

Our great enemy has always been Modern Republicanism which was the vehicle for Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevism. The Novus Ordo as promulgated by Machiavelli, is about destroying the Old Order. No Catholic can participate, engage in, advocate, in the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo is about attacking the Natural Law that undergirds the Old Order and replacing it with what man wants. Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevism is an actual conspiracy laid on the ideas of Toleration, "Liberte, Fraternite, Equalite" started way back in the Renaissance when Lorenzo Valla in his deconstruction of The Donation of Constantine put this phrase in "A republic is any government without a king". The whole business of modern republicanism was getting rid of kings, the first step in globalization and deracination. Pope John Paul II, as outed by Malachi Martin in his book Keys of This Blood, shows that this Pope was engaged also in globalization process and worked for it. This Pope was a heretic.

There is nothing bugaboo about this. I've done the research. I know what I'm talking about.

Crude said...

Wheeler,

Roman Catholicism has always been about the upholding and living under the Natural Order which was created by the Natural Law. Our allegiance is to that Jinzang. Not to a supposed Utopia or to helping the Jews bring about the Messianic Age on Earth. Chialism, or Milienarianism is a big heresy.

Woah, hold on here. I mean, everything else aside - since when are you Catholic? Last I heard you were eastern orthodox. I'd think you were saying 'Catholic' in some broader sense, but there's no way to think that when you specify Roman Catholicism.

Did you reconvert?

Especially since your own wikipedia user entry reads:

My name is W. Lindsay Wheeler. My hero is Socrates and I am the servant of my Lord Jesus Christ. I am a Doric Kretan who is a reactionaryist, race realist, monarchist/classical republican; anti-communist; a Catholic for 40 years, now a convert to Greek Orthodoxy. I consider myself a homeless Christian, i.e. a little Protestant, much Catholic, and much Orthodox; avoiding the failings of each and learning the truths they teach. (I have gone beyond partisanship in Christianity. I try to live in the pre-schism Church.)

Ragnarok said...

Okay, though it's been somewhat amusing, will you guys make an effort now to stop feeding Linton? He is far beneath the standard of this blog.

Eduardo said...

Agreed...

Oh shit, why don't we simply clone dguller.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

My heart is still in the Roman Catholic Church. My heart is still in the Orthodox Church. Eversince I was 16, when I could drive, I always went to both services.

At the age of 44?, I participated in the Battle Creek Catholic School meeting in which they were going to set out the agenda for the school. I was trying to get Virtue on the curiculum. I was in discussion with the priest of the major church in BC. He told me St. Paul was a misogynist. (The teaching of Virtue went nowhere there.) The head of the Catholic School system told me the same thing. I converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. But now I regret that also. They have no clue on the Natural Law and their traditionalists have a great hatred for Plato and Aristotle.

Anyway, I consider myself Roman Catholic/Greek Orthodox. I live that Unity of the Church that Christ so much wanted.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous says, "But, apart from that, it is reasonably obvious that ......."

Equivocal? I rest my case."

I have to agree with Ragnarok, especially after the above offering of the troll Linton (what case? He literally has failed to present a coherent argument).

The thing is I do not think he is a completely purposeful troll. I think he actually thinks he is very smart and really sticking it to religious people, despite being totally unable to give a coherent argument and jumping randomly to any topic that comes into his head.

I pity him. Let us all hope that one day he actually decides to think and maybe he will get over his clearly chronic stupidity.

Crude said...

Alright, Wheeler. Thanks.

I'm probably playing with fire here, but I also have to ask - any thoughts on the Golden Dawn?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

You are getting way off topic. Let us concentrate on Virtue and Tolerance and how Tolerance was used as a device to undermine Christendom and its use here in America and in Europe to further eradicate anything of Western Culture and Civilization in preparation for the New World Order.

Crude said...

You are getting way off topic. Let us concentrate on Virtue and Tolerance and how Tolerance was used as a device to undermine Christendom and its use here in America and in Europe to further eradicate anything of Western Culture and Civilization in preparation for the New World Order.

Haha. Man, I'm pretty sure the latter is about as off-topic as my question. What can I say, I don't know many greeks, and I'm curious. So I had to ask.

Why even get into that? I mean, why phrase it like a conspiracy theory? You have your work cut out for you just discussing virtue in relatively tame terms.

Let me throw this one at you. Ed (rightly, in my view) suggests that tolerance has utility with regards to virtues. Can you name a 'good' instance of tolerance? I'd like to see what you say.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Christianity does not teach anywhere the Unity of Man. The Unity of Man concept is in corelation to the Jewish theology and proselytism device of "The Unity and Simplicity of God". They go hand in hand. This Jewish idea, given free reign under toleration, attacked the idea and theology of the Christian Trinity. This created the Socianist movement. John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, a Mason, were socianists. They rejected the Trinity. As God is supposed to be One and Simple, Mankind is to be One and Simple. It is the natural law of macrocosm/microcosm that demands consistency. As they think of their idea of a god, so they think mankind can be. Unity of God, Unity of Mankind.

God created race and nation. Race and Nation are the Golden Mean. Therefore they are Truth and Right. It is the Catholic and Orthodox duty to uphold, defend race and nation. This is the Will of God as expressed in the story of the Tower of Babel. Jewish exigesis of this story is totally wrong. Political Correctness has now morphed into Social Justice and the Church has the duty to stop this madness. One World is an evil. The Unity of Man is an evil.

Toleration of the Jews have led to the mess we are into today. It was Jewish instigation that brought about the Socianist movement which created the Quakers and the Unitarian Church and others. Toleration was never a virtue but a political device to free the Jews, atheists and heretics from Roman Catholic hegemony and destroy Christendom.

My loyalty, duty, my virtue demands I uphold, defend and protect the Old Order of Throne and Altar. We have to return to the Old Order.

Joe K. said...

Papalinton,

You are genuinely a child.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/
2011/07/does-morality-depend-on-god.html

You ignore what people say, pretend they say things they never said, and you aren't very intelligent to boot. What Anonymous said holds true, for the most part. You add nothing of any real substance when you make a comment, and when you do say anything resembling logical argument, you're just attacking straw-men.

Your comments directed at Anonymous also make you look pathetic, incidentally. People are well aware of your arguments; they're just that bad. That's why people ask, "is he for real?" You look like a joke; that's it.

I apologize, Crude; I should have listened to you. I wash my hands of you, Papalinton.

Crude said...

Joe K,

Apologies? No need. I went round after round with this guy before finally realizing it's like arguing with a chinese room that's a bit more whiny and insulting. Just trying to save everyone from wasting their time.

That said, you did a great job of trying to explain things - that was worth a read on my end. A pity this thread got off-course, but then they almost always do.

Papalinton said...

The bottom feeders huddle, to console each other, lick their wounds, jolly up each other's mutually flagging spirits, and smooth bruised egos.

But they know, deep down in their soul [I use the word advisedly], they know that the general public has largely moved on, setting aside religious belief as the mainstay of community counsel. No amount of philosophizing on the cardinal virtues aseptically devoid of religious context is going to alter humanity's irrevocable journey to a post-christian era.

You have to give it to the pope though. He saw the writing on the wall back as far as the 1970s:

“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members…."

The rest can be read HERE.

The book is HERE

The balance of his prophecy however, "But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely .... yadda yadda yadda " seems ever more unlikely, a Sunday too far. What he didn't foretell, coming right out of left field, was the explosive international child sexual scandal and its handling of it that has consumed not only the church but has incensed the global community.

DavidM said...

Hmmm... Some people are interested in hearing a good argument. Others need to spend some serious time on a couch. Ask yourself: which am I??

DavidM said...

I think Dr. Feser doesn't get it quite right in his final paragraph. The value of open-mindedness and the rest is *contingent* (upon these virtues not being separated from wisdom and the rest), rather than *instrumental* (which would seem to imply that a truly courageous man, for example, would no longer need empathy, or that a truly just man would have no use for fairness).

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I pointed out earlier in this thread that "Arete" is non-gender, non-species specific. The Arete of a Female is far different from the Arete of a man. Excellence is tied to the Nature of a thing. Virtue is tied to the Nature of a thing.

St. Paul writes to Titus (2.4) "...and so train the young women to love their husbands and children (5) to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands."

See that word "submissive"?

Political Correctness is a thorough comphrensive socio-political ideology. Political Correctness is deracinist; it teaches, commands Toleration; and it is also teaches Unisexism. Just like we have the Unity of God, the Unity of Man, we have the Unity of the Sexes in Unisexism! Men and women are equal is a teaching of political correctness/social justice.

What does St. Paul say. First he says "TRAIN". Titus is a bishop on Crete! What is one of the Jobs of a Bishop? To TRAIN. If the Bishops job is to train women, is he not also responsibile for Training MEN?

TO TRAIN.

What are females to be trained in?

Domestic things AND SUBMISSIVENESS. Submissiveness is an Arete, a Virtue of the Female sex! Females are to be trained in domestic things like cooking, sewing, knitting, and weaving.

Is that going on today? In our Catholic schools? Are not females "empowered" in our Catholic School systems? In our Catholic University and Colleges are women being allowed to enter Law Schools and ROTC programs?

What did St. Paul teach? That is right, St. Paul is a misogynist!

Now you know why the training of Virtue will go nowhere in the Catholic Church because the Church is heavily PeeCee. The Church has adopted the error of Marxism thru and thru!

Virtue in the Catholic Church? None.

Females are to be taught to be submissive--not masculinized that is going on now! To have Unisexism, men have to be effeminized and Women masculinized. That is what is going on today. At the age of 12 and 13, my feminist mother called me a "Male Chauvinst Pig". Women are important. Women have power. Women control the world. My father was hen-pecked and controlled by my mother. Is this Christian culture? Is this how a Christian home is to be? Was I trained to be a man. Did anybody in the Church protect me? Teach the Truth?

I like to know: do we know what the heck is in our Scriptures?

You talk the talk, but nowhere is that but into action anywhere. I also notice that nobody has denied the fact that Virtue is nonexistent in Catholic Schools. No one has yet to post on how Catholic Schools go about inculcating Virtue. All I see here is silence. Do we even know what the heck we are doing?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

The principle of the Catholic school was a woman. The leader of the meeting was a woman. She was a member of some sort of University Womans Association. They were all about ensuring, protecting, and advancing the "rights of women" and making sure that the Socialist idea of women is advanced.

Yea, St. Paul is a misogynist. I'm livid mad. That those words were even spoken by Catholics! And If St. Paul is a misogynist--then I will gladly wear that title myself into heaven!

That is why my suggestions of Virtue went nowhere.

Stick a woman on an island, and she instinctively knows how to be a woman. To be a woman is instinctive. Not so for a boy. No boy knows what it means to be a man. It is NOT instinctive. A boy must be trained into being a man. Boys, men, Manliness and Manhood are very fragile things. It is a very delicate thing. Even though Manliness and Manhood are not fragile nor delicate intrinsically, these things are so important and foundational that screwing this up causes a myriad of myriad things to go wrong.

Arete/Virtue is nothing to laugh about or take lightly. As all things revolve around Adam, so all things revolve around man. The most important thing is the training of boys to be men. Only one society has ever accomplished that. Christendom sadly has not done this.

Untenured said...

@Ed:

I know you like to moderate with a light hand, but this thread sucks. And so did the last one. And we all know why.

It has been crapped-up by a leftist troll who would not know the difference between a string of adjectives and a chain of reasoning if one of them bit him on the arse, and a paranoid autodidact conspiracy nut who has surprisingly said nothing about the illuminati and the Rothchilds yet.

I think it's past time to hit the "ban" button.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

If you critique, you must also be able to provide a solution. Know what is supposed to be done.

I'm a little harsh and have been heavy on the criticism because Catholics and the Church have got to know that they have a problem. The first thing is to recognize they have a problem.

The Church and Catholics have to recognize that what they are uncritically doing is error.

Virtue is a habit. It is formed in early childhood and is a constant process.

One of the biggest things in my life has been the Boy Scout program. If you read the old field manuals you will run across this "the training of boys to be men". That was the original idea of the Boy Scouts. It is not a "fun" organization like it is being promoted now.

The Scout oath is an encapsulation of the essence of what it means to be a man. The Scout Law is a list of some virtues and attitudes. They are not labelled virtues. I never heard the word virtue in the Catholic or in the Boy Scouts either.

Lord Baden Powell was reader of the societies that he ran into in South Africa, a wide reader of societies across the globe and somewhat of a classical reader which is par for the course being brought up in the Victorian Age. He modeled the Boy Scouts on those societies and may have secretly been influenced by the Spartans. Most definitely the Boy Scout program is the rebirth of the Spartan agoge.

The Boy Scout program is the premier institution for the training of boys to be men in its original setup before the 1960s. Even in his day, he was attacked for his "para-military" organization. But that is what a boy is supposed to be. In the Masoretic text it says, "The Lord God is a Man of War". The God of the Hebrews is also their War God. Who are we made in the image of? God. At the essence of a man is to be a warrior.

The Boy Scout program is just this, the training of boys to be men by, in the oath describing the essence and character of a man, and in the Law, those actions that help that. But most importantly, the best part is not the badges or the tasks, the most important part is that boys are taken out, separated from the female and they live in Nature. It is by living IN nature that a boy becomes a man.

Every Catholic Church should have a Boy Scout Troop and Boy Scout troops be integrated into the Catholic Schools.

This is how one accomplishes the inculcation of virtue. The Boy Scout program is the answer to this demand by St. Peter and St. Paul.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Catholics have to make a decision.

Either you promote political correctness the morality of the NWO, or you promote virtue. But the two can NOT coexist.

You have to root out all forms of PeeCee. A huge amount of re-education has to occur.

St. Peter wrote, "Supplement Faith with Arete". The Church has to decide--is it going to be obedient to Scripture or is it going to conform to the modern world?

Brian said...

STOP. SPAMMING.

DNW said...



So Linton, before you're banned as troll by a fed-up Feser, what's your actual "point"?

You know, all the ad hominem, the campy invective, and the stagey pirouetting aside ...

Since you claim to be in the "education" industry you ought to be able to lay it out.

You've got some sort of vision you're peddling?

Anonymous said...

DNW, why....why on Earth do you insist on provoking this person? Let him scurry back to one of his many rubbish heaps, lest he taint this blog any further.

We have enough spamming as it is.

DNW said...

"Anonymous said...
DNW, why....why on Earth do you insist on provoking this person? Let him scurry back to one of his many rubbish heaps, lest he taint this blog any further.

We have enough spamming as it is.



Reasonable enough question given the assumption that I am trying to provoke him.

However, I am not. Nor have I been part of the "conversation" to this point.

He has now been politely, and explicitly, asked by someone who is not particularly, if at all religious, to lay out whatever point it is he is trying to make.

Let him then write a mini essay on an a-theist theory of virtues and their supporting predicates if he wishes; and if he can coherently do so.

If he drops that wearying waspish pose and the affected tone of languid conceit, and instead concentrates on an actual argument or vision, it might provide an instructive glimpse into the mechanics of his reasoning processes: How he imagines he gets from anthropological assumption there, to moral imperative here.

If that is, he imagines any such path exists. It might be that he just imagines that he has evolved to like chocolate ice cream, so much the worse for those who don't, and that that is all there is to it.

And of course, as you imply, he might just continue on with the lisping insults. In which event, I think we can conclude that he would have continued to do so without my encouragement.


But, he's been given an [admittedly pro forma, if you like] invitation to dispassionately lay out his logic.

Let's see what fallout there is, if any.

Eduardo said...

I predict nothing will come of this...
or rather shit will come of it's mouth but it will be meaningless shit all over again.

BenYachov said...

I'm going to lay odds Wheeler will be thrown out long before Paps.

Any takers?

Eduardo said...

Actually the problem with WHeeler is that either you have read the stuff he read or you have no idea what he is talking about XD.

But Paps just sucks you don't even need to read comic to figure that out.

(BTW Yachov... Paps is just here because you had to mention it, unwantedly, to him XD. U_U you need to honor the place!)

W.LindsayWheeler said...

In your new Bibles there is this phrase, I Cor. 6.9: "...neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts" Now this quotes is from my Nestle Aland, Greek-English New Testament, 26th edition. Notice that there are Four things mentioned.

But in the Greek, there are Five things mentioned!

Why the discrepancy? Why does the English have 4 but the Greek shows 5.

Yes, certainly we all here """Know""" that the immoral, idolators, adulterers and sexual perverts will not enter into the Kingdom of God. We all know that. It is very clear cut.

Now, read what is in Old Bibles, both in Protestant and Catholic but is not in Newer bibles:

"Or do you not know that the unjust will not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate (malakoi), nor sodomites, will possess the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6.9 The New American Catholic Edition, l958

What is this word "effeminate"? How come St. Aquinas does a disertaon on this, but this word is missing from our modern Bibles for?

Did you know that the Effeminate do not enter into the Kingdom of God? The word "effeminate" has NO sexual connotations. Absolutely NONE. Not in Classical literature. (q.v. Classical definition of effeminacy.) The word appears as a vice in Aristotle. If it is a vice, like cowardice, how can it be something sexual?

When was the last time that was preached? Let me all ask you all, have you been warned about this? St. Paul makes it very clear but it isn't clear today. I talked earlier about effeminacy as the underlying character trait for both Satan, a once good angel and Adam.

Before virtue can ever be applied, effeminacy has to be purged from the boy. We are all born effeminate. It is the natural condition of men. This is why God cursed the ground. Effeminacy is more prone in the very highly intelligent, lazy royalty and aristocracy and in the urban classes that are divorced from Nature. Christendom survived this scourge because the grand majority were agrarian.

Did you know that it is communist doctrine to effeminize men? Communist infiltration into a society seeks to effeminize boys and men because it is a concommitant of Unisexism.

Why this word is not even translated in Modern Bibles is that they are trying to hide this. It shows that this is the most most important word in the whole Bible. Why? Because that is the only word they don't even translate. Are we being deceived?

You may have all the Faith in the world, but being effeminate prevents anyone from entering into the Kingdom of God. Like produces like. If our ranks of the clergy are effeminate, doesn't that mean our people will be effeminate as well?

"Soft countries breed soft men". Xenophon's Cyrus.

Crude said...

In Wheeler's defense, while I absolutely disagree with a lot of his conclusions, he will actually *engage* someone in discussion - and he actually seems to have read about some of what he's discussing.

Give me a sincere man with crazy ideas and an ability to communicate, over an ignoramus who plagiarizes responses because *he does not know what he is talking about and knows it*, any day of the week.

Eduardo said...

lol Crude xD.

Papalinton said...

DNW
I appreciate your offer. You know, of course, that I hold differing views to the religious-minded and whatever I offer will hardly be expected to pass muster. I accept that. And I also accept that some will vehemently object to an alternative perspective to that of Dr Feser.

I read Prof Feser's OP, here and elsewhere, and for the most part they are well constructed and defensible. He is a brilliant scholar. But there are elements, sometimes significant elements, in his arguments that should be challenged, indeed need to be challenged, particularly the underlying premises for his perspective, for example, in this OP, why he asserts counter virtues are flawed yet cardinal virtues are flawless all due to their being 'objective'. Truth be known this differentiation is little more than a vehicle for taking a swipe at contemporary society and the democratic process when they do not reflect or subscribe to conservative 'values'. Otherwise, why write it? I look to defending the prevailing circumstances.

And apart from a very few lone voices, there is little evidence of any challenge. Much of the commentary is fawning, ingratiatingly sycophantic, zealously dedicated to championing a cause which, in increasing measure, is becoming less relevant in the community. In large part, commentary is about holding the line on past traditions rather than addressing the challenges going forward, to finding the truth about why it is the community is trending in the direction it is, away from the traditional religious viewpoint that used to inform public life.

My commenting here is what could be described as a baptism of fire, among commenters whose self-appointed role it is to largely denigrate, mischaracterise and brand as troll and idiot, anyone they don't agree with what they are saying. Your personhood is attacked.

In my initial comment in this thread, I posed a candid question to Dr Feser in relation to his claim, " Similarly, a rightly ordered society will value the traditional cardinal virtues over open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness, whereas a society which celebrates the latter over the former is disordered," ending with, "In your wildest dreams, Prof. Feser. ........"

His retort, "If you'd bothered carefully to read the post -- as opposed to reading your own paranoid fantasies into the post .."

Dr Feser set the tone for personally directed invective.

The marked difference in the two statements will be completely lost on most of the commenters here, and many will now point finger to and quote following comments where i have subsequently personally insulted other bloggers.

DNW, you say, "If he drops that wearying waspish pose and the affected tone of languid conceit, and instead concentrates on an actual argument or vision, it might provide an instructive glimpse into the mechanics of his reasoning processes: How he imagines he gets from anthropological assumption there, to moral imperative here."

Just as the Pharisees earlier, you have already passed judgement. This does not auger well for me.

Edward Feser said...

Dr Feser set the tone for personally directed invective.

No, Dr. Feser set the tone by foolishly responding to a troll.

Mea culpa, folks. I urge you not to follow that bad example any further.

So, let's stop the troll feeding. And trolls, stop spamming up the combox. As you know, I don't like to use the delete button, but it's there and looking pretty good about now.

Memes said...

I hope neither of them get banned. Between the fantasies of mad racists like Sean and Lindsay and the raving lunatic that is Papalinton...this shit is comedy gold. I just love reading 'race realist' Wheeler's (tears of laughter stream down my cheeks whenever I read that term) rants about Jews, Freemasons and Plato. And Paps...you gotta keep trolling dude. Reading your posts is like watching a tramp shitting in public wrapping it in silver foil and offering it to passers by. It's fucking hilarious. Keep it up folks! I need my lulz!

Anonymous said...

Paps was offered a chance to explain his perspective. Responded by complaining that people were mean to him. EPIC FAIL. (And irrefutable proof that he is a troll).

Eduardo said...

LOL memes, are you copying all these XD and making them into memes XD?

Papalinton said...

Feser: "No, Dr. Feser set the tone by foolishly responding to a troll."

No, Dr Feser does not take kindly to a direct head-on challenge to the fundamental premises that underpin his catholic worldview. For him it is easier to denigrate the person rather than address the differing view.

The following is the crux of Dr Feser's OP: "This analysis and its relevance to modern politics and culture deserve a write-up of their own, but for the moment let’s consider the fate of the cardinal virtues in a modern democratic society."

Feser dislikes where the 'modern democratic society' is leading. He finds fault with it. But he finds fault in it not from an investigative or research oriented perspective, but according to ancient writings, written in a cultural and societal milieu vastly alien to that which we now experience. But there is no moderation or tempering of the Platonic/Aristotelian/Thomist lessons to match relevance to contemporary society. He has simply taken the ancient Platonic 'analysis' and overlays it on today's community, and to no surprise finds a mismatch.

This is a mistake, and one should be mindful that not all good ideas from past times translate to modern contexts. They must be used as a guide, with prudence, not as a prescription as Dr Feser is wittingly attempting to do.

I am sorry he sees this as trollish. But it is his call.

Crude said...

Even if it uses the language of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, it will not respect or promote true virtue, but only its counterfeit.

I wish this point was made more prominently in these debates. I think an awful lot of time discussions about virtues are carried out under the assumption that everyone respects the same ultimate morals and virtues, but they just differ on the particulars. I think this post helps make the case that, no, sometimes the problem is even more fundamental than that.

Syphax said...

Well, though I dislike the way the conversation has turned I have been thinking about the original post all weekend, trying to formulate my thoughts on it. Perhaps I am unfamiliar of the original definitions of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice as they are used by Plato and Dr. Feser, but it is not as obvious to me why these are the hinge on which the rest of morality turns.

I am not saying this is wrong or right, I am only saying that I am not sure. The original post seems to assume that it is obvious that these are the hinge of morality, but I suppose it is just not obvious to me.

For instance, when asked what were the great commandments in the law, Jesus said the first was to love God with your whole self, and secondly to love your neighbor as yourself. He also seemed to imply that all the laws of Israel hinged on these two principles. So just from my own intuition (which I admit, is based on the definition of these words used in modern society, which might be different than in Ancient Greek society or Scholastic philosophy), I am having a hard time seeing how the cardinal virtues fit.

Secondly, it would seem that the second person of the Trinity coming down to live among the humans, descending below them all, taking upon him our infirmities and sins and feeling pain because of them - this seems to be an act primarily of empathy inasmuch as Jesus was the act of God feeling what we feel. Is that empathy merely instrumental in bringing about some even greater good? It seems to me that the empathy in Jesus' act is a good in and of itself and not instrumental. How would a Thomist or Catholic respond to my thoughts?

Cale B.T. said...

Papalinton: "And apart from a very few lone voices, there is little evidence of any challenge."

"Dr Feser does not take kindly to a direct head-on challenge to the fundamental premises that underpin his catholic worldview"

Papalinton, you seem to be under the persistent misapprehension that you are some sort of maverick presenting brilliant insights which are only rejected because the majority of commentators are victims of the vast and jejune memeplex of supernaturalist superstition.

(Unfortunately, I couldn't fit your Word of the Month "persiflage" in that sentence)

Maybe you've forgotten already how one of the long term atheists told you told you that you were incompetent.

Eduardo said...

Cale, HE IS under that misapprehension.

To him, he is some kind of bird that have been turn free(in his mind) and now he comes to save us ALL!!!!

or you could just read this imbecil's words in that link of yours where he clearly states why he is here and what he thinks of Christians in general...

Seriously, talking to shit may actually be more productive! Listening to Wheeler backwards IS BETTER.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but Paps's challenge, in its latest incarnation at least, appears to be just the usually liberal and modernist appeal to the community, as if what determined what was right and wrong, true and false is what the community thinks at the moment.

Anonymous said...

W.LindsayWheeler,

You are an astute cultural commentator. What do you make of the modern widespread consumption of pornography?

Papalinton said...

Cale B. T.
"Papalinton, you seem to be under the persistent misapprehension that you are some sort of maverick presenting brilliant insights ..."

I wish that were the case, Cale. Far less effort would be needed into prosecuting the argument. Certainly no maverick, and not one blessed with brilliant insights. Just down-to-earth with a skeptical disposition and certainly not given over to supernaturalism as the majority of commenters here. Supernaturalism is a literary construct, it is not a philosophical one. I tend to err on the side in agreement with the statement:

" With neoplatonic and medieval scholastic origins, the metaphysical considerations [of supernaturalism] can be difficult to approach as an exercise in philosophy or theology because any dependencies on its antithesis, the natural, will ultimately have to be inverted or rejected." [All Reference Libraries]

Supernaturalism is a product of medieval thought conjured in a time when there simply were no natural explanations. And today, beliefs predicated on this medieval supernaturalist conception of 'reality' simply can no longer be credibly sustained in any meaningful way that does not promptly trigger a challenge or question about the bona fide claims made under it, in the light of alternative and exponentially more powerful explanatory tools now available.

You say,"Maybe you've forgotten already how one of the long term atheists told you told you that you were incompetent."

Actually, no he didn't, not all, unless I missed it in review. He certainly was upset with my somewhat combative style at the time. He certainly referred to as a Pap Smear, and told me to burn straw men elsewhere, and I know he was deeply frustrated that I had encroached on his patch because he was comfortably ensconced well into the discussion and giving you all a big serve. And I regret the rather bull-headed way that I chose to enter the thread at the time. But I did apologise for my behaviour.


Cale B.T. said...


Papalinton: "Actually, no he didn't, not all, unless I missed it in review."

Right, so Dguller said that you were attacking popular misconceptions and fantasies of the relevant issues, rather than responsibly engaging with the arguments.

Are you seriously maintaining that this doesn't fall under the heading of incompetence?

"Supernaturalism is a product of medieval thought conjured in a time when there simply were no natural explanations"

Belief in the supernatural existed before medieval times, so the first part of that sentence is false. More generally, I would recommend that you buy and read Prof. Feser's books "The Last Superstition" and "Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide)"

Eduardo said...

Actually Paps is simply saying that Nature is given by naturalism without any argument whatsoever...

He was given the chance to give his argument on the virtues he believes are fundamental, or he beleives are the best, and he simply said that Feser is just acting politically, and being against the Liberal-Democratic government is wrong, and these virtues that Feser talk about are no longer sustainable in our society.

Why I read comments... is amazing, after dozens of threads all I hear is shit from people like Paps...

Cale B.T. said...

Eduardo, I don't think that papalinton simply assumes it. He genuinely thinks
that there's an argument to be made, and if only commenters here like G. Rodrigues and Mike Flynn had someone like him to teach them a bit about science, then they might begin to see the errors of their superstitious ways.

Eduardo said...

@Cale

That might be true, although Paps said himself that with Christians you can't use reason, it is actually silly to think they can use reason. Actually that was his remark while talking to dguller, Paps doesn't care about reading books or anything, he is just the typical Secular Humanist.

He is here because of just ONE FREAKING reason. Religious people tend to be in the Right in the USA, and Secular Humanism is leftist at its core, so he must fight all of us or at least Feser in order to make sure people won't get convinced about Right mentality of something like that.

That is why he can only attack the people speaking and never the arguments, that is why he doesn't give a shit about argument or gives a shit when people call him a liar. He doesn't believe in arguments, he just believe in political games and in his ideal of what man, society and history must be.

He will just go round and round with the same tactics because that is exactly what he wanted from the start!

So ... no Cale Paps is just the typical political ideologue he doesn't care about arguments, books or anything like that, and his Enlighted "acting job" is just part of this political game of his.

Now I might be being a bit harsh, but I have seen my Share of Secular humanists and that is all they are about, so in the end the best is just to let Paps alone talking to the stones or something.

Crude said...

Eduardo,

That's a very interesting viewpoint, and really, one that mirrors my own. I think atheism is and has always been a red herring - the number of atheists who, when pressed in private, collapse into something closer to deism or a weird paganism is considerable. That's anecdotal experience, but it's been borne out. Modern anti-theism is a lot more about politics and far less about theism, or science, or any other thing.

That said, I think you all are attributing too high of motivations to the man in question. I think it's largely about attention and trying to sound smart. Really, when on multiple occasions the guy copy-pastes another source to present as his own ideas, and when his every comment is clearly, clearly a 'AM I TRYING HARD ENOUGH TO SOUND KNOWLEDGEABLE YET?' word-barf, that tips his hand. What's going on now is the guy's rep is in tatters - everyone knows he doesn't know a damn thing, so trying to look smart is a dead issue. Instead, he's goading and taunting and hoping desperately to at least get a rise out of someone, because really - as far as the ego goes, 'they think I'm a jerk/I make them angry' is, for most people, far better than 'they think I'm an idiot/they ignore me'.

I mean, he manifestly does not really think he could truly teach someone anything. While I beat this one into the dirt, it's salient: more than once, he's been caught copying and pasting stuff to offer up as his own knowledge, because he truly wouldn't be capable of explaining it in his own words without making it clear he doesn't know what he's talking about. That's also why you're not going to teach him: if he could learn this stuff, he wouldn't be doing those things. But he can't. It's too hard. He's tried in the past - he failed. And he can't cope with that.

That's why, really, you should ignore this guy. You don't even have to worry about onlookers watching, because any onlooker capable of following the OP and conversation will easily tell that what this guy spits out is irrelevant BS that mangles understanding. Have a conversation with any of the other regulars here, theist and atheist, is irrelevance will be put in that much relief without you doing a thing.

I mean, if you want to try and teach him something, go at it. But I'm trying to save you some time and frustration. I mean, if you're going to educate anyone, you should probably focus on someone who's actually capable of understanding the topic, and willing to learn more about it, first. Pearls before swine and all that.

Eduardo said...

Personally I refrain from talking about atheists overall worldview... don't want to conclude something about other people before I have some good reasons to do it... unlike certain guests XD.

Unfortunately a part of me wants to believe trash like him is not for real, but that is just my leftist education speaking loud...

That said... looking at that photo reminds me you can't teach new tricks to old dogs...

Papalinton said...

""Belief in the supernatural existed before medieval times, so the first part of that sentence is false."

Of course it did. Just as with all ancient populations, even christians believed in all manner of shamanic woo, spirits and other entities well before the Latin word was invented. But there was no Latin for 'supernatural' until the Middle Ages.

Word Origin & History

supernatural
mid-15c. (implied in supernaturally), "above nature, transcending nature, belonging to a higher realm," from M.L. supernaturalis "above or beyond nature," from L. super "above" (see super-) + natura "nature" (see nature). Originally with more
of a religious sense; association with ghosts, etc., has predominated since c.1799. The noun is attested from 1580s.
Supernatural (Medieval Latin: supernātūrālis: supra "above" + naturalis "nature", first used: 1520–30 AD)

See HERE

Nitpicking nitwit.

Eduardo said...

LOL, that is all there is to say, that IS THE BEST RESPONSE EVAR!!!

xD...





Eduardo said...

Just to add to this crappy off-topic conversation... does any one still believe that Paps is able to even think in a logical manner... if so I want you to review Cale's and Paps very small talk... done? Still believe he is capable of coherent thinking???

If so, you haven't noticed that PAPS LITERALLY CHANGED FROM defending supernaturalism THE CONCEPT to supernaturalism THE F'ing WORD!!!!

IT IS BRILLIANT!!! you WIN BY MAKING NO SENSE WHATSOEVER... WHY DID I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT Ò__Ó!!!

Papalinton said...

Cale B.T. You are a lying hound. You wrote: "Maybe you've forgotten already how one of the long term atheists told you told you that you were incompetent."

Please show me where he told me I was "incompetent" Another lie for jesus, no? Rack them up Cale, because in the end in means not a jot as you already know there will be no eternal punishment for being a liar, there is no mystical being to punish you. That is why you can lie with impunity. You already know living by the christian tenets is just a primitive sham. You will appreciate your little fib compromises the tenets of the cardinal virtues but it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day being a christian means scant in the scheme of things.

The one compelling difference between you and me is that as an atheist I have dispensed with the facile pretentiousness of living a life filled with supernatural superstition.

Sheesh

Eduardo said...

He also threw away the supernatural concept of logic... was way too complicated for him...

Papalinton said...

Crude, give over. I know you are trying your hardest to censor me. But give me some slack, bro. I really am a nice guy under this crusty exterior.

Cale B.T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo said...

Cale you are a saint... I have already snapped with the guy but you can go on with such a peace of mind ...

grodrigues said...

I will be feeding a Troll, but this is just too ironic to let go unnoticed. Papalinton addressing Cale B. T. said and I quote:

"Rack them up Cale, because in the end in means not a jot as you already know there will be no eternal punishment for being a liar, there is no mystical being to punish you. That is why you can lie with impunity."

There are two things to observe here.

1. Papalinton has stashed away in that paragraph a version, of the moral argument for God's existence (primitive though it is, and probably one that no Thomist would countenance).

As a corollary of 1.

.2. What is true for Cale B. T. is also true for Papalinton, for he "knows" there is no "mystical being" out there to "punish him", and thus he can and *will* lie with impunity.

Cale B.T. said...

Let me put it in this form:

tell:

"to express in words"
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tell

incompetent:
"not competent; lacking qualification or ability"
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incompetent

Dguller said that you were attacking popular misconceptions and fantasies of the relevant issues, and needed to study them in greater detail.

And so, he told you that you were incompetent.


Cale B.T. said...

So when you wrote,

"Supernaturalism is a product of medieval thought conjured in a time when there simply were no natural explanations."

I was apparently supposed to interpret this as:

"there was no Latin for 'supernatural' until the Middle Ages."

I am a victim of the Australian public education system, but thankfully I never had you as an English teacher, papalinton.

Going back to the subject of the thread, will you concede that agreeing with the statement "a rightly ordered society will value the traditional cardinal virtues over open-mindedness, empathy, tolerance, and fairness" is in no way an endorsement of a Roman Catholic theocracy, as you implied in your first comment?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

To anon, the widespread use of pornography is a sign of a very disordered soul. Democracy produces such individuals. I don't know how many Catholic sites I run across that promote or protect democracy and the American project for.

Basically, it is sign of effeminacy; softness, weakness and the narcissism of the individual. It is the sign of the childishness in our society. We don't live in a Manly society but a childish society. The 1960s cultural revolution where it was dictated "Let it all hang out" was a counter pseudo-virtue promulgated by the Frankfurt School to attack/undermine Christian morality that teaches "Deny yourself".

It is the problem of the dominant Urban culture and the lack of control of our media. The First Amendment, this "Freedom of the Press" which allows anything goes, dangerous. Our media is toxic. And life imitates art. Our media portray sex as the only value in life.

With Christian morality under assault by the Frankfurt School and other Marxists and the lack of virtue, and the virtue is Temperance, or Self-control, not moderation, all is lost. One needs knowledge and virtue combined.

In Plato's Republic, Socrates talked about environment. A good person can not grow up in a bad environment. Most people are weak. A good person needs a beautiful and good environment. We don't have that in America nor is the wisdom in place nor the prudence to accomplish this. Marxist infiltration of our society is about spreading pornography. They have no morality whatsoever but a deep abiding hatred of Christian morality that to them needs to be subverted and that subversion is accomplished in our media. Because we are "open-minded", fairness, and everything else.

DavidM said...

I don't know where Pap got that little dictionary entry, but FYI Aquinas was using the word 'supernaturalis' back in the 1250's - so yeah, strange that.

DavidM said...

...no wait; that's actually completely irrelevant to anything that has been said here. Sorry!

DavidM said...

Papalinton: "But there is no moderation or tempering of the Platonic/Aristotelian/Thomist lessons to match relevance to contemporary society. He has simply taken the ancient Platonic 'analysis' and overlays it on today's community, and to no surprise finds a mismatch."

I too think Feser gets it wrong (the 'instrumental' virtues are more than instrumental, seems to me - they're more like complementary), but your description of what Feser has done is nonsense. If you want to criticize, please say something that shows you have actually read and tried to understand what you're criticizing.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

In book II of Aristotle's Nico. Ethics, Aristotle writes:

"This view is supported by what happens in city-states. Legislators make their citizens good by habituation; this is the intention of every legislator, and those who do not carry it out fail of their object. This is what makes the difference between a good constitution and a bad one.

The American constitution is based on the Atheist "Enlightenment". The whole moral basis of the Atheist "Enlightenment" was freedom. Not in producing a good person! Atheists hated Catholicism. If you hate Catholicism you hate Jesus Christ, you hate the Good!

Is what Aristotle saying a figment of his imagination? Can you believe it that he is actually refering to an historical reality? That of Sparta. Only two city-states did that, the city-states of Crete and Sparta. Xenophon said it was Lycurgus that commanded that Virtue be done all times in public by its citizens. Each Spartiate was conditioned by habit in the agoge, the moral and intellectual virtues.

America is about ensconcing the Protestant/Atheist viewpoint of freedom. The American constitution has nothing about "making the citizens good by habituation". This only occured ONCE, in Sparta. The Church has never even under Christendom or anywhere in Byzantium as far as I know purposely had a program in place to "Habitualize people into the good".

DNW said...



In deference to Professor Feser, readers will please take these remarks as comments on the principle involved.


Papalinton said...
DNW
I appreciate your offer. You know, of course, that I hold differing views to the religious-minded and whatever I offer will hardly be expected to pass muster. I accept that. ..."

The obvious difficulty with this proposition is that it [the passing of some congeniality test muster] is in fact completely irrelevant to whether Linton has, and can formulate, and finally, can support in a logically demonstrable fashion, particular views on the nature and status of moral statements, the nature of virtues, and on any supposed social imperatives which he may claim can be deduced from these collected propositions.

Either Linton has well-formulated and certain views concerning the nature of moral statements and any supposed entailment to be derived therefrom, or he doesn’t.

Either he has certain views on the nature of the concept of virtues, and their anthropological status, or he doesn't.

The potential reaction of Feser's following to Linton's syllogisms has nothing in principle to do with their soundness, their validity or with Linton's ability to present them.

No one here has the power to prevent Linton's making of a clear argument as to his view of the, say, ontological, status of virtues or value statements.


Linton then concludes, "Just as the Pharisees earlier, you have already passed judgment. This does not auger well for me."

I think that you meant to say "augur" as in predict, rather than "auger" as in corkscrew into the ground. And, as I have already pointed out, your anticipation of a skeptical reception has nothing to do with your freedom or ability to fashion valid syllogisms.

Unless you suffer from some kind of performance anxiety, that is.

Anonymous said...

Well said, DNW! Perhaps Papalinton could post his "well formulated" views on his blog, "Reason Prevail" (snicker), which, at present, has not a single entry.

Papalinton trolls around
Where intelligence is found
Wishing to participate
But his mind is not so great
Combox notes straight from the heart
His darkest most corrupted part
Twisting, lying, plagiarizing,
Criticizing, patronizing
All those awful Christians baiting
From whence cometh all his hating?
A place on earth of his own making
His own personal hell.

Brandon said...

Syphax,

The reason these four are the hinge virtues, or the cardinal compass-points of virtue, is that they cover the whole of ordinary human life:

prudence: practical reasoning

justice: will

temperance: how we deal with the pleasant or pleasing

fortitude: how we deal with the unpleasant and difficult

While these aren't the only virtues, all the ordinary virtues of life are at least related to one of these four, and these four end up being rather non-negotiable.

Love is a distinct issue; it's traditionally taken as a theological virtue (along with faith and hope). Faith, hope, and love are not virtues required by ordinary moral life: they are superior virtues transfiguring ordinary moral life so that it begins to have divine, and not merely human, qualities. Such is the difference, anyway.

I suspect that Thomists generally would say that the key element of the Incarnation is not empathy but love; empathy is part of the task taken up, in the same way that other passions are taken up.

Syphax said...

Thanks for responding to my question! I think I have a better handle on the reasoning now. So in a way, the theological virtues subsume the cardinal four but doesn't not replace them or render them unimportant. For instance, it would seem that the Law of Moses roughly dealt with the cardinal virtues, but in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere (notably the Gospel of John), Jesus introduces a "higher" law that sort of fulfills or subsumes the previous law, and reorients it towards a higher standard ("the law says X, but I say unto you Y..." etc.).

So then the question is, why not focus on the theological virtues rather than the cardinal four? Focusing on the cardinal four doesn't give us as much mileage, apparently. Secondly, it leads me to wonder what exactly love is? In the non-Foreigner power ballad sense?

Certainly I know this wasn't the purpose of Feser's post, but perhaps subsequent posts could clarify these issues.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

You know I really wonder.

Here is Brandon responding to a reader's request, and he has learned nothing from this thread because he says "Justice: will".

That is not at all. I quoted from a text from the 1st century the definition and the correct terminology of the Greek word "Dikaios" and where does Brandon get his knowledge from?

And again I explain that the Virtue Andreia is not just "courage" and not only does not Brandon use Dr. Feser's term he comes up with another term Fortitude.

"Courage" and "Fortitude" are French transliterations of Latin words that are not even tied to the Greek technical language of Virtues.

If Ethics is a science, (philosophy is a science), should we not be using the SCIENTIFIC terms for Virtue? Latin does not do justice to Greek terms.

Plain and simple "Justice is not Will". Phoney-Baloney.

Truth means every single premise must be true in order for the conclusion to be true. Error in any part causes falsity.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

So Syphax writes this: "So in a way, the theological virtues subsume the cardinal four but doesn't not replace them or render them unimportant. For instance, it would seem that the Law of Moses roughly dealt with the cardinal virtues, but in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere (notably the Gospel of John), Jesus introduces a "higher" law that sort of fulfills or subsumes the previous law, and reorients it towards a higher standard.."

No. The term "virtue" was applied to St. Paul's discourse on what a Christian has "Faith, Hope, and Love" and that at the end of time, only Love remains. The term "virtue" was applied with POETIC license, and not technical nor scientific.

"Virtue" scientifically is the character of an individual. Virtue is tied to the Soul. When we die the Virtue that we have remain on our souls. In St. Paul, "Hope" and "Faith" finally disappear. There is no virtue. Hope is a human element. "I hope the sun comes out tomorrow." That is not a Virtue, technically.

Love is an emotion. NOT a Virtue in the technical sense. "to Love my wife" is not a virtue but an emotion. "I love candy bars". That is not a virtue.

No, the Law of Moses has nothing to do with virtue. Nor Jesus with the Sermon of the Mount using the so-called "theological virtues" to supplant the "cardinal virtues". Why they are called "cardinal" is that Manhood hinges on those four as the mainstays of Manhood, to be a compelte man. It has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Virtue has nothing to do with religion or the Christian religion because Virtue existed before Christianity, was created and developed by Pagans and by Greeks and not by Hebrews.

Religion is religion. Virtue has to do with the secular field. Christianity brought up pagan virtue in because there is value in it. Christianity needs real men and so in order to have that, they have to train their men into virtue. Just like men need to eat to live, in order to live well, men need virtue. Intrinsically, Virtue has nothing to do with the Christianity the religion. Virtue prepares a Man to be good and to do good. And because Christianity expects the good for the individual and society, it commands Virtue, St. Peter, first Pope, said, "Supplement the Faith with Arete". You can not be a man without virtue. If Christianity is based on Ortho-doxa, then, philosophy is needed to protect and teach that Ortho-doxa. In order to do philosophy and to attain and know Truth---requires Virtue. Virtue and Wisdom go hand in hand. Christianity relies on those two things to accomplish its mission. Virtue and Wisdom have nothing to do with Christianity per se. Christianity is the worship of Christ as savior. Virtue and Wisdom are tools, instruments in the service of Christ and his mission. Virtue and Wisdom existed before Christ and outside the Hebrew milieu, free and clear.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I forgot to add when I posted on Aristotle's statement:

"This view is supported by what happens in city-states. Legislators make their citizens good by habituation; this is the intention of every legislator, and those who do not carry it out fail of their object. This is what makes the difference between a good constitution and a bad one.

The American constitution is bad. It is error. Americanism is a heresy, every bit of it.

There is no command in our government to do good, but our government commands evil as in political correctness. Because our ancient legislators did not constitutionalize anything about making citizens good, the training of virtue is non-existent in American culture or institutions.

This is why I proferred the suggestion that all Catholic and Orthodox churches run Boy Scout programs. In lieu of our bad constitution and that our government is now Marxist led and hostile to everything Catholic and to virtue, it is necessary to have a separate entity for training boys into men. Since our government and now Marxist culture prevent that, we have to go elsewhere.

As Dr. Yeagley, a conservative American Indian has said, Welcome to Indian Country after the re-election of Obama, we live in hostile territory. Since the secular society is down right evil and hostile, there is noway society as a cohesive unit can inculcate virtue, it is necessary that the Church has something to accomplish this much needed task. This is why of my recommendation that Catholic/Orthodox Churches have Boy Scout troops tied inexoribaly to them; in order that boys are inculcated in Virtue and become real men.

Brandon said...

Syphax,

So then the question is, why not focus on the theological virtues rather than the cardinal four? Focusing on the cardinal four doesn't give us as much mileage, apparently. Secondly, it leads me to wonder what exactly love is? In the non-Foreigner power ballad sense?

As to the first question, the cardinal virtues actually get you lots of mileage; they just don't give the full Christian life. It mostly just depends on what you are doing: there are well-established philosophical arguments for these, they have been extensively discussed on philosophical grounds. The theological virtues, on the other hand, by definition, go beyond anything of which ordinary human nature is capable (except by special grace), and there are lots of cases where that's not going to be relevant to what you're talking about. As you say, it matters what loves is; a lot of things that get called 'love' will in Thomistic terms be acts of virtues of justice and the like, and not the love that is particularly associated with Christ.

Also, the moral life that the theological virtues transfigure is precisely the life described by the cardinal virtues. (There's a split between Thomists and Scotists on this point. Thomists hold that divine grace gives (in addition to the acquired cardinal virtues) special versions of the cardinal virtues (infused prudence, infused justice, etc.) which are specifically concerned with things required for the life of grace. Scotists, on the other hand, hold that these infused virtues are really just the acquired virtues + charity (love).)

It's perhaps also worth pointing out that for Catholics the cardinal virtues are also Biblical, and so can't simply be ignored; they're listed in Wisdom 8:7.

Memes said...

Paps gets asked to explain his view on the ontological status of morality. Responds that people aren't nice to him. Then states that supernaturalism is a product of medieval thought. When proven wrong states that there was no Latin for supernatural until the middle ages. (And he wonders why no one respects him). Wheeler prowls the background muttering about the evils of the constitution and the manhood of modern American male. Occasionally shouts about how Feser's 'counterfeit' values were invented as part of a plot to destroy Christianity. This is like watching a window licker and an uneducated mad man trying to build a house with a paintbrush and a bucket of water. Surreal and hilarious-I love it!!

Memes said...

Paps strikes again! The poor chaps been driven mad by naturalism. When looking at his Internet escapades it's like watching a mental breakdown; a man in a state of gradual mental decline. Speaking of mental... Is anyone here aware of any studies on atheists explaining how their atheism causes them to become profoundly irrational? I know psychologists have had a lot to say on why theists believe as they do but I'm not aware of too many studies assessing the mental health of atheists like Paps. It's a shame because chaps like him are a gold mine for psychologists studying the rationality of atheists.

Eduardo said...

Someone told me once that there was a statistical correlation between athists and bad relation with their dads....

But there was no link, so I never got to check the logic of the whole thing.

But is not every atheist that is like that, that being Paps level of irrational discourse.

Papalinton said...

"They are called cardinal (Latin: cardo, hinge) virtues because they are hinges on which all moral virtues depend. These are also called moral (Latin: mores, fixed)" From: HERE

AND

"They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns." From: Dr Feser's OP

Compare:
They are called cardinal (Latin: cardo, hinge) virtues because they are hinges on which all moral virtues depend.
They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns.

Eduardo said...

If you are trying to show vested interested on Feser's part you should hide your tracks better... You can easily be accused of the same thing.

Papalinton said...

DNW
"I think that you meant to say "augur" as in predict, rather than "auger" as in corkscrew into the ground."

Thanks for that. It didn't come up in spellcheck and I missed it.

Crude said...

Eduardo,

Someone told me once that there was a statistical correlation between athists and bad relation with their dads....

But there was no link, so I never got to check the logic of the whole thing.


This may be what you had in mind.

Eduardo said...

Woah .... XD hahahahah so it was on a book huh, I can already see the reviewers cursing to dawn XD.

Eduardo said...

Have you read it Crude?

Crude said...

Eduardo,

Haven't yet, no - but I've heard of it, since these conversations almost inevitably get into psychoanalysis of the other side. For every 'theists just believe what they do for psychological reason (X)!' there's an 'atheists just believe what they do for psychological reason (Y)!' to shoot back with.

Eduardo said...

lol, yeah true.

Is just that my first months debating religion were a mess, found 1 guy that was worth talking to, the rest was just the typical political ideologue.

Disappointed with that experience must say XD.

But soeaking psychoanalysis I found it funny when I say that if we find a correlation X for theists we might find correlation Y for atheists or maybe atheists just lack X or vice versa XD.

Funny how the eloquent atheist I was talking to, just sort of stopped in his tracks... Almost felt like he was reserving as explanation of his atheism REASON XD.

Papalinton said...


"They are called cardinal (Latin: cardo, hinge) virtues because they are hinges on which all moral virtues depend. These are also called moral (Latin: mores, fixed)" From: HERE

NOTE: "All copies of Second Exodus materials must include my name, Marty Barrack, wherever it appears in the original, and may not be altered. They must also carry my copyright notice: “Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Martin K. Barrack, www.secondexodus.com. All rights reserved.”
See HERE

I could not find the required attribution related to this material in the OP.

windwheel said...

A truly gripping post which applies very well to the Bhagvad Gita. Previously, I was puzzled as to why modern Indian commentators, like Vivekananda, interpreted Krishna's message as 'show courage and do your duty, when the context made it clear that Arjuna wasn't in a state of phrenes or blue funk.
I suppose any teleological approach is going to have to differentiate between substantavist and relativist imperatives with the latter being relegated to second class status.
But what the Gita reveals is that for that teleology to work there has to be an act of self-sacrifice by the Man-God- albeit in the relatively harmless form of self-praise rather than a harrowing crucifixion as in Christianity.
The problem with a notion of cardinal virtues is that some drug or delusive force or 'mechanism design' incentives can duplicate the desired action on the part of agents and thus a just as good, if not superior, relationist solution always obtains. Indeed, the relationist solution dominates because it has more degrees of freedom and, in any case, opens the door to a superior, Quantitative, type of public reasoning. Thus, the British 'a nation of shopkeepers' prevailed against more thymotic Empires, that too in distant parts of the world.
Still, a very thought provoking post.

Anonymous said...

There has to be some Australian anti-cyber stalking/bullying/harassment law we can nab Linton with.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I don't think people grasp the significance of the Holy Spirit's inspiration of St. Peter when he says "Supplement the Faith with Arete".

How did we get in this mess in the first place?

Because of Adam.

What was Adam's problem?

He failed at being a man.

Thru that we have original sin and we sin. Virtue is about learning the techniques of being a man, the perfect man that Adam wasn't. All the Faith and all the Gospel in the world does not change man. Judas knew and walked with Jesus. He had Faith. He had the Gospel.

Did he break any of the ten commandments? No. So then why did Jesus say of him, "Better had he never been born?

Judas betrayed him. Betray is the opposite of Loyalty. Judas failed in Virtue.

Adam failed at being a man. He failed in obedience. His effeminacy caused him to fail in obedience. The Crucifixtion of Christ, his death and ressurection is important and necessary but there is another thing going on; the necessity that man has to be a man. Christ said, "Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is Perfect in Heaven". What does Arete do? It is the perfection of a man. This is why the Faith, which will disappear at the end of time, must be supplemented with something THAT WILL NOT DISAPPEAR. We must be saved but then we must NOT repeat the mistake of Adam. Why be saved when you repeat the mistake of Adam?

If you don't have Virtue and you are full of effeminacy, what good is Faith? Jesus Christ said, "If you love me, you will obey me". Can you obey when you are weak? Can you obey the Good is Hard and you are too weak to obey?

I find it funny how 99% of Catholics don't know what is even in their Scriptures. (I have read cover to cover the Scriptures, like the Prots have, have you?)

Have you run across this: LXX Wis 6.17, "For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love; and love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption; and incorruption maketh us near unto God; therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom".

You know "love" is preached at every Catholic sermon. Love, Love, Love is all you hear and nothing else. Yet, in all their discussion have you ever heard that "Love is the care of discipline"? No. Can an effeminate man keep the law?

And what society ever had this "care of discipline"?

Only the Spartans.

I'd like to say, "What Adam wasn't, the Spartans were". Not only that but also Wisdom brings us "like unto God", i.e. Theosis. And what Wisdom does is inculcate Virtue. Virtue is necessary for Theosis. To be like unto God.

Does any Catholic know what they are doing?

DNW said...

Anonymous said...
There has to be some Australian anti-cyber stalking/bullying/harassment law we can nab Linton with."



He's had a day or more to come up with an essay explaining and arguing for his concept of virtue and morality, and in what sense if any, his precepts are obligatory.

And he's not done it.

It would of course be interesting to see a modern liberal atheist attempt to pull this off. But we all pretty much know why they don't, despite their insinuations that they can.

Sam Harris' spectacular question-begging, tautologically launched youtube pratfall, is only one example of why.

It's because when they try, they come up against the same acidic deconstructive doctrines they've been hurling at traditionalists all along.

Afterall it's pretty absurd to first mock the concept of natural kinds or teleologically implied right or obligation, and then find yourself making puling emotional appeals to others for indulgent treatment on the basis that "I'm a person too", and trying to pose it as an objective fact having some further moral or prescriptive entailments.

Hence, I suppose, Rosenberg, and Rorty.

In the case of the latter he chucks the whole moral reasoning business and simply determines on a strategy of domination which places his puffy eyed swollen nihilistic face in your face while calculating that the traditionalist target's internalized moral inhibitions will continue to operate to the nihilist's advantage.

After all they're people too, and even if it implies nothing objective to them, it should to you.

Lot's of fun this game; to have a cake baked by someone else, and to eat it too.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I don't like using the word "Courage" for the Greek word "Andreia". "Courage" is kind of a sexless, genderless word. "andre" is man in Greek. "Andreia" includes within it "strength". A man must have inherent physical strength. This is the Latin word "fortitude". Andreia also means the lack of effeminacy. It is the opposite of effeminacy. Anreia includes within it "Hardness". A man is hard. "Andreia" also means courage. The ability to stand up to danger. Bravery. Andreia also includes within itself "bearing". In the Marine Corps, one hears this all the time, "Maintain your military bearing". It is the carry of the person. He has "manly bearing". You see this in Victorian England. The picts of the men in suits with stiff collars. The Victorian gentleman had "manly bearing". To convey oneself as a Man.

This is why "Andreia" should be titled Manliness and not courage nor fortitude. In the context of literature, the context of the sentence, Andreia is sometimes rightly translated as simply courage. But "courage" is not the complete understanding of the term "Andreia". Andreis is Manliness. Manliness is courage, fortitude, Hardness, manly bearing, and the ability to give and take a punch. That is manliness.

Manliness is the first virtue. Because without that, one can't have prudence nor the ability to uphold truth nor grasp truth. Manliness is the foundation.

The Four virtues in Wisdom 8.7 is

Andreia---Manliness
Dikaiosyne---Righteousness
Sophrosyne---Self-control, self-mastery
Phronesis--Practical wisdom

Let us grasp and use the techincal language of Arete.


As John Wayne says perspicaciously that "One must first be a man, before he can be a gentleman".

W.LindsayWheeler said...

There is another reason that Virtue can not be had in conjunction with political correctness/modern Catholic Social Justice. I wonder how many of you really meditate and know what virtue is because there is a glaring contradiction. We see people mouth platitudes about virtue but then practice political correctness. Let's investigate.

What is the definition of righteousness at the time that St. Peter wrote "Supplement the Faith with Arete".

We already know that the virtue of Manliness collides with feminism. Feminism is throughout the Church today. But there is another almost Iceberg of a contradiction laying in wait. What about 'diakosyne'?

"Dikaios" is a law of nature. It is translated as "Righteousness" and the natural law is "all things are constructed to do one thing". Righteousness is a Natural Law. It is also a Virtue. From Virtues and Vices, psuedo-Aristotelian (It is in the Loeb Aristotelian corpus.)

"To righteousness it belongs to be ready to distribute according to desert, and to preserve ancestral customs and traditions and the established laws, and to tell the truth when interest is at stake, and to keep agreements. First among the claims of righteousness are our duties to the gods, then our duties to the spirits, then those to country and parents, then those to the departed; and among these claims is piety, which is either a part of righteousness or a concomitant of it. Righteousness is also accompanied by holiness and truth and loyalty and hatred of wickedness".

This virtue is ensconsed in the very first line of the Boy Scout Oath, "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my Duty to God and my Country..."

See that word Duty? Duty is as Dr. Feser points out this "outward-oriented" that is what "Duty" is. Only a manly man has "Duty". An effeminate has a narcissitic outlook--what's in it for him. This comes by nature.

See that word Loyalty as well. Duty and Loyalty go together.

Now, let us meditate on what Righteousness, a virtue means. It means having duty to your God and country, towards your kinsmen and loyalty to what?

Now, lets take Political Correctness. What does Political Correctness teach? How many times have I been called a "racist" on this website and others? It is norm that all Catholics practice political correctness that is why. What does Righteousness, the Virtue, dictate? Did not the Logos himself say, "You can't serve two masters". It is either/or. You can't do both at the same time.

Does not righteousness, the virtue, dictate my loyalty and duty to my kinsmen? And does the interest of my group coincide with the other group? You can't serve two masters. By use of the word "racist" one must concur that one must serve the other and disregard your kinsmen.

So what this tells me that the Catholic Church does not have any virtue whatsoever. Lip service about Virtue--but actually practices political Correctness.

Do you know what Righteousness is? Can you live the virtue of Righteousness. Political Correctness/modern Catholic Social Justice can not coexist with Virtue. Virtue was created and practiced in an homogenous, warrior culture. To disregard your kinsmen and your forebearers, ancestors, is to commit adikia, to be unrighteous. The Unrighteous do not enter into the kingdom of heaven. See, no Catholic School teaches virtue, it teaches tolerance and political correctness.



BenYachov said...

>NOTE: "All copies of Second Exodus materials must include my name, Marty Barrack, wherever it appears in the original, and may not be altered..............

I know Marty. He's a first class Mensch. Him & my buddy David Moss.

Papalinton said...

DNW
"He's had a day or more to come up with an essay explaining and arguing for his concept of virtue and morality, and in what sense if any, his precepts are obligatory."

Let me get this straight. You want me to provide you my own version of the cardinal virtues. Do you mean, in the same sense that Dr Feser provided his own version of the cardinal [cardo:hinge] virtues?

"In the case of the latter he chucks the whole moral reasoning business and simply determines on a strategy of domination which places his puffy eyed swollen nihilistic face in your face while calculating that the traditionalist target's internalized moral inhibitions will continue to operate to the nihilist's advantage"

It seems the blog's Pharisaic judges are now ready to pass judgement whatever defense is put.



DNW said...

Linton, quotes and says

"DNW
'He's had a day or more to come up with an essay explaining and arguing for his concept of virtue and morality, and in what sense if any, his precepts are obligatory.'

Let me get this straight. You want me to provide you my own version of the cardinal virtues. Do you mean, in the same sense that Dr Feser provided his own version of the cardinal [cardo:hinge] virtues? "

Reread what you actually quoted, and respond to that. If you need a random hint on angle of approach, consider that you were earlier complaining that you were not being treated as a person.

Presumably you believed that this treatment was in some sense wrong or unjust because of your ostensible membership in a class of persons. In what sense would singling you out be unjust? Do you believe that you have an objective status as a "person", and as a result an objective entitlement to a particular kind of treatent which others are somehow morally bound to recognize?

If so, how exactly does that work?




" 'In the case of the latter he chucks the whole moral reasoning business and simply determines on a strategy of domination which places his puffy eyed swollen nihilistic face in your face while calculating that the traditionalist target's internalized moral inhibitions will continue to operate to the nihilist's advantage '

It seems the blog's Pharisaic judges are now ready to pass judgement whatever defense is put. "

I was sneering at Rorty not at you.

You haven't even made your argument yet.

You may begin any time now.

Papalinton said...

DNW
You are somewhat disingenuous to now retroactively limit your statement only to Rorty. And what is it that gives it away? The following link sentence:
"Hence, I suppose, Rosenberg, and Rorty.

The "hence, I suppose" is a clear literary coupling of your descriptor of Rorty to that of Harris and through to me.

And the attempt to backpedal on the intent of your inference leaves no doubt. The "Hence, I suppose...." makes that abundantly clear in any reasonable understanding of the intention. Otherwise, for what other purpose?

And no amount of bolding will dilute the intent of the connection, guilty be association. It is clear, that which is of Rorty, is that of me.


Eduardo said...

Errr... Paps you put the mask yourself, you could have just ignored it.

But now we know that you are a Harris adn Rorty nuthugger!!!

Daniel Smith said...

W.LindsayWheeler: Love is an emotion. NOT a Virtue in the technical sense. "to Love my wife" is not a virtue but an emotion. "I love candy bars". That is not a virtue.

I'm surprised that one so fond of Greek definitions would be so absolutely WRONG when it comes to the New Testament concept of love (which is the type of 'love' Syphax was talking about).

Is it because of 'emotion' that God "so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son"?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Yes. Love is a feeling.

Rupert said...

W.LindsayWheeler,

I would be interested if you could explain why you think that the widespread use of pornography is a sign that people have very disordered souls.

DNW said...

Ok. It appears no amount of cajoling will bring Linton to the point of actually making an argument outlining, and arguing for, his own views on the status and grounding of moral prescriptions.

Contrary to Feser's conviction, I have been persuaded that if some of his apparently trollish critics could be presented with a very simple and clear explicative task to perform, that they would be able to leave behind the usual emotionalism and theatrics, and proceed to actually make whatever argument it was that seemed have been underlying their objections to Feser.

By my count this is the third or fourth time I have attempted to accomplish this, despite Feser's open exasperation with what he sees as a futile process.

In each instance the result has pretty much justified his attitude; as the exchanges have invariably stalled in nonsensical arguments over the starting line, the wind conditions, the noise of the crowd, the disrespectful attitudes of the competitors, squirming attempts to reformulate the context ... or in outright misrepresentations

We never once get to the point where progressives say what if any moral prescriptions are objectively binding, and how the progressive knows either way.

Well, three times is a charm proving the case, and four is four too many.


I will make one more comment in order to correct a blatant misrepresentation and then let the matter drop.

DNW said...

"DNW
You are somewhat disingenuous to now retroactively limit your statement only to Rorty. And what is it that gives it away? The following link sentence:

'Hence, I suppose, Rosenberg, and Rorty. ..."

The "hence, I suppose" is a clear literary coupling of your descriptor of Rorty to that of Harris and through to me.

And the attempt to backpedal on the intent of your inference leaves no doubt. The "Hence, I suppose...." makes that abundantly clear in any reasonable understanding of the intention. Otherwise, for what other purpose?

And no amount of bolding will dilute the intent of the connection, guilty be association. It is clear, that which is of Rorty, is that of me. "



The "Hence, I suppose, Rosenberg, and Rorty" identifying phrase followed a comment outlining the logical difficulty certain values nihilist progressives encounter in grasping a perch on a branch they have already sawn off; and it preceded this paragraph which described their strategy for dealing with the implications of their own moral doctrines:

'In the case of the latter [Rorty is the "latter" of the two names I specified] he chucks the whole moral reasoning business and simply determines on a strategy of domination which places his puffy eyed swollen nihilistic face in your face while calculating that the traditionalist target's internalized moral inhibitions will continue to operate to the nihilist's advantage. "

Now, this remark was clearly characterizing Rorty both grammatically, and as anyone who has read some of his comments on domination and seen his photograph, would instantly recognize.

I can't think of a reason in the world why you should pretend to be so wounded by that remark that it has rendered you emotionally incapable of stating your own mind.

Well, I can think of one, but it's not very flattering to you.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

@ Rupert.

The love of pornography is directed to what is base and vulgar.

First, what is the goal of life; the Transcendent, Good and Noble things, or Materialistic, base and vulgar. Pornography is watching sex outside of the two participating in it. It is about "pleasure seeking".

An inordinate desire for "pleasure seeking" shows weakness.

1. The goal of seeking it in the first place is the wrong goal. Disorder.

2. It is what is base. No high values entail. Disorder.

3. No control. Weakness. Disorder.

The soul itself, intrinsically, is an ephemeral thing, it is not materialistic. As the Soul is spirit, its' goals ought to be spiritual, The Good, the Truth, The Beautiful. What is of the body, is materialistic. Pornography is itself disorder for it takes something private and makes it public. That the soul chooses what is disorder shows the soul is not trained right. Good chooses Good. Bad chooses Bad.

Rupert said...

Okay, so because the soul is spirit, it ought not to have the goal of pursuing pleasure for its own sake? Would that be a reasonable paraphrase of part of what you're saying?

Don Jindra said...

Plato seems to argue there is only one true human virtue and that is wisdom. The other virtues are political virtues. For man, wisdom is the only virtue that might be considered an end in itself. All political virtues are instrumental. Political virtues allow man to live together in harmony. But even wisdom is sometimes portrayed as instrumental. It's used to find knowledge of the good which leads to the good life.

Protagoras (in Plato's dialogue) counts honesty as a political virtue. It's instrumental. Socrates doesn't dispute this. If fairness is merely instrumental and secondary, so is honesty. Yet honesty is one of the Ten Commandments.

Let's not forget piety which Plato also counts as a political virtue. Even in the Republic, while piety is not expressly stated as a virtue, it's definitely implied. In fact, it supports "noble lies" like “the myth of the metals." Other political virtues seem to depend on it. So it's instrumental and we should consider it secondary. Yet piety is a large part of the Ten Commandments.

So I'm forced to conclude that a soul which primarily values the Ten Commandments either 1) rejects the traditional cardinal virtues or 2) relegates them to second place, and, like one who embraces fairness too tightly, a person who embraces the Ten Commandments too tightly is likewise disordered.

It's also curious that fairness coupled with his understanding of order and virtue leads Socrates to a idealistic, communistic existence for his guardians where even wives and children are shared.

When reasoning leads to absurd conclusions perhaps original assumptions need to be questioned.

Indeed, it is Fairness that says: “John is richer than you are but that is as it should be since John worked harder.”

For the time being I will merely assert that a sense of fairness and love are at the root of all morality. All else is derivative.

W.LindsayWheeler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Jindra said...

Correction, that last paragraph should read,

For the time being I will merely assert that a sense of fairness and love are at the root of all morality and justice. All else is derivative.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Not exactly Rupert. As Jesus Christ said, "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto God' what is God's".

The Soul DOES HAVE pleasure. But that pleasure is not in the bodily pleasures but in the pleasures of the Spirit. The Soul is to take pleasure in that which is Spirit. That is of the Beautiful. To look upon Beauty. To look upon Nature, the Cosmos and wonder about sophistication/simplicity, the order of the Cosmos. That is one pleasure of the Soul. Another pleasure of the Soul is God, to meditate,contemplate on God. To have a relationship with God is a pleasure of the Soul.

See to the Body is bodily pleasure and what is to the Soul, spiritual pleasure. The Soul is directed to spirit. While Virtue of Temperance in the soul contains bodily pleasure to its right and orderly existence in the chain of the human being.

There are Bodily pleasures.
There are Spiritual pleasures.

What the Reasoning part of the soul does is "Order aright". We are to engage in sexual pleasure in order to create Family. But to grow it out of its normal parameters is a fault. Disorder. The Natural Law is Righteousness that as all things are constructed to do one thing, they must also keep their place. Everything is about keeping their place. There is a time and place for everything under the sun, as Scripture has it. It is about KEEPING everything in its place. To the soul--spiritual/To the body---bodily pleasure.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

I had to repost. Blew it.

I forgot another ingredient in Manliness and that is Gravitas, or Seriousness. Seriousness is a subset of Manly bearing. Gravitas is the demeanor of a man.

Manliness includes underneath it (a) Courage/Bravery (b) Fortitude, Strength (c) Hardness, about withstanding cold, privation, discomfort, able to do job right to completion, undergirds duty. (d) Manly bearing (d.1) gravitas/seriousness (e) ability to give and take a punch

Hardness is the central component underneath all the aspects of Manliness. Courage is in some aspects Hardness. Then, manliness feeds the other virtues. Manliness is a habit that as Aristotle, taking his cue from Plato says:

"Like activities produce like dispositions. Hence we must give our activities a certain quality, because it is their characteristics that determine the resulting dispositions. So it is a matter of no little importance what sort of habits we form from the earliest age -- it makes a vast difference, or rather all the difference in the world." Nico. Ethics, book II

If the only place one talks of virtue is in college---as I have said---it is already tooooooooooo late. One naturally learns Manliness subconsciously, in the Agrarian culture from early on. Boys from early on, are inculcated in virtue by Nature in the Agrarian field. The development of virtue was by the Leisure/Soldiering class of the Dorians (Spartans) in order to mimic the Agrarian life in which they no longer had a direct participation in. Virtue in one small aspect is the re-creation of the Agrarian life metaphysically.

From an early age, Boys must be hardened and their lives directed into Manliness by habituation. This was done by the Spartans in the agoge from the age 7. Because this is no longer possible in the age we live in, Catholic and Orthodox churches must, must, must, incorporate Boy Scout Troops.

Furthermore, all teaching of boys must be done by men. I know in the Cub Scouts that I was in we had Den Mothers. Almost all Den packs are conducted by women. If you read Leon Podles The Church Impotent, The Feminization of Christianity, boys have to be separated from the female in order to be masculinized. No separation, no masculinization. Manliness is a condition. It is the character of a man. Manliness is a conditioning from youth into masculinization. Without a true, real man, there can not be any Virtue.

DNW said...

The following paragraph should have the bolded word added to it.

"Now, this remark was clearly characterizing Rorty both grammatically, and as anyone who has read some of his comments on domination and seen his photograph, would instantly recognize, descriptively.

Also, in other sentences I've probably left out one or two articles here or there, but they can easily be interpolated mentally.

In addition, thanks to Professor Feser for his long suffering and editorial forbearance.

There always seemed a chance to me, no matter how slim, that the values nihilists, subjectivists, and relativists (speaking loosely) visiting here could be brought to the point of either explicitly "justifying" or grounding their implied moral claims; or, at least admitting as did Ayer, that what they were actually engaging in when making "moral" noises, was a purely emotive enterprise, a kind of rhetorical stimulus-response seduction played out politically, and justified ultimately by nothing more than their own largely unexamined and unanchored impulses.

Either alternative would have been intellectually interesting: either the attempt at an objective grounding, or, the plainspoken admission that they had none. But it appears that this outcome is not to be.

Instead we are treated to what are essentially question begging complaints that they cannot say what they need to say because they are not being treated inclusively. What utter, effeing nonsense.

They cannot, or will not say on what objective grounds it is morally imperative that they or anyone else should be treated indulgently, or inclusively, and/or not subjected to separate evaluative standards, but it is implied that only if they were so treated inclusively, they could then tell us why they should be ... or something.

I think I have come across this line of "reasoning" before.

As a political "sage" from the late great state of California was not to long ago recorded saying: You have to pass the bill in order to find out what is in it

DNW said...



er ... not too long ago ...

Rupert said...

W.LindsayWheeler,

I wonder what exactly you mean by the "normal parameters" of sexual pleasure. Presumably you don't mean "statistically normal".

How exactly do you go about determining what the proper function of sexual pleasure is?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

@ Jindar.

First off Plato did not argue that. Wisdom was the Highest, not the truest. The other virtues are not political virtues, but there are "moral virtues" and "Intellectual virtues". Wisdom is not the end.

What many here do not know is that there is another virtue, I have seen, nowhere discussed. In the pseudo-Aristotelian work Virtues and Vices, the writer notes one virtue as "to being the cause of victory". That can truly be said to be an end in itself: "To be a cause of victory". Anybody hear about that one? Life is about in some ways to be "a cause of victory". That was central to Spartan culture unlike any other culture in the history of the world.

Don Jindra is an atheist but a very shrewd one that takes or makes logic into mathematics. Socrates and Plato talk about people like him; straining the gnat to catch the fly.

What Don Jindra doesn't understand that the word 'politics' in the Greek is not our understanding of the word "politics". Politics in the Greek means social. All virtue is social. Virtue is done individually but it done by the community and for the end of the community. Though an individual does virtue, it benefits the community at large. Virtue is two fold. It attaches and is conducted by the individual, but is needed by the community, hence it's political, i.e. social.

As Dr. Feser points out the Cardinal Virtues are just the basics. There are more virtues like liberality, magnanimity, and high-souled. Honesty and piety are also other virtues. Cleanliness is a virtue per Benjamin Franklin. The Greek word "Arete" encompasses all excellencies of a person.

To call something having "Arete" means that that person must have all the virtues. Missing one virtue, tags a person without "Arete".

Fairness is defined as "treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination" by the Oxford English dictionary. Fairness, as Tolerance, are the values of Atheists. It is no wonder that Jindar brings that up. Fairness and Tolerance go together.

"Treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination" flies in the face of the Virtue of Righteousness (as I explained earlier in this thread), of the Natural Law that deals with group mechanics and flies in the face of Christian morality. That is why "Fairness" and "Tolerance" are touted as competitors to Christianity. This is why Christianity is failing and morphing into Marxism. Because the Atheist values are easier and much more acceptable than Christian mores.

Jindar is completely wrong "Fairness and Love" is NOT the basis of ALL morality and justice.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

In the Greek sense, Right is what is normal. What is normal human activity. One could apply the Bell Curve to many things. In a Christian world view, all humans are damaged by original sin. We are born disorded. Aristotle, a pagan, recognizes that we are not born moral, but must be habitualized to morality, to normality. The Ten Commandments really is "What is Normal".

Aristotle writes: "Self-indulgence would seem to be justly a matter of reproach, because it attaches to us not as men but as animals. To delight in such things, then, and to love them above all others, is brutish." Nico Ethics, book III

And then, normal parameters is discussed by Aristotle this way: "The man, however, who deviates from goodness is not blamed, whether he do so in the direction of the more or of the less, but only the man who deviates more widely; for he does not fail to be noticed. But up to what point and to what extent a man must deviate before he becomes blameworthy it is not easy to determine by reasoning, any more than anything else that is perceived by the senses; such things depend on particular facts, and the decision rests with perception. So much, then, is plain, that the intermediate state is in all things to be praised, but that we must incline sometimes towards the excess, sometimes towards the deficiency; for so shall we most easily hit the mean and what is right.

One must be able to "control" one's bad habits. Some bad actions are habits. Recognizing them as bad, limiting them, is sometimes the best we can do given our circumstances. This is where Christian mercy comes in, God's Mercy and Purgatory. Not all of us are going to be "saints". We are to try our best, at the least.

There is much wiggle room. Christ demands perfection---but on the offhand-underneath, we have purgatory. We must recognize it as a sin, limit it and control it. It keeps us humble.

To understand this you may need to read Aristotle himself. George Irbe has put up a translation of it and it is quite easy to understand Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Rupert said...

Sure, I've often thought I would like to read the Nicomachean Ethics one of these days.

But does he specifically address the proper function of sexual pleasure?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

No.

Sexual pleasure as in the Asian Indian writings is nothing a Greek would engage in. Not of their concern. It is an act like eating, a daily or weekly function, that is it. It is of no importance to a Greek.

What is of importance to a Greek is Arete, Excellence. Achieving Excellence. Perfection, of the body, mind, spirit, is a Greek desire. Sex has nothing to do with this, so a Greek really has nothing to do with sex.

Don Jindra said...

W.LindsayWheeler,

"First off Plato did not argue that. Wisdom was the Highest, not the truest."

Feser doesn't want me around here so I'll be brief.

In Symposium, Socrates tells us what Diotima taught him on eros and, indirectly, on wisdom:

"those whose procreancy is of the spirit rather than of the flesh ... conceive and bear the things of the spirit. And what are they? you ask. Wisdom and all her sister virtues; it is the office of every poet to beget them, and of every artist whom we may call creative. Now, by far the most important kind of wisdom, she went on, is that which governs the ordering of society, and which goes by the names of justice and moderation."

So justice and moderation are only names for wisdom.

In Protagoras Socrates argues for a unity of virtues. He "proves" even courage is knowledge, therefore wisdom.

It's tough to say exactly what Plato's views were. But in my reading I think Plato saw wisdom as the only real human virtue. I agree wisdom is highest, but why? Because wisdom is common to all other virtues, whether acquired directly or indirectly. Wisdom manifests itself as courage, moderation, justice and piety. It's acquired directly by the philosopher (through contemplation and/or dialectics), and indirectly by the common man (through myth and teaching).

W.LindsayWheeler said...

The definition of Wisdom is "The knowledge of Divine and Human things and their causes" while living a life of rectitude. Wisdom is knowledge. Yes, Socrates defines all virtue as a type of knowledge.

There is a unity between "Being wise" and the practice of virtue.

It is very hard to understand what Plato means thru the English. I am not at my library which is in another state so I'm guessing that the term "justice" is the Greek word "Dikaios" and moderation is the Golden Mean. Dikaios and the Golden Mean are parts of Wisdom. You have to understand that Plato's dialogues are not technical in a complete sense. Some of it is poetic. One must understand what sense is being used. Translations on top of this are not very good. You are being technical when Plato was writing stuff that had no corallary to him before. Laying the foundation of the science of philosophy and ethics is fraut with some small discrepancies. Aristotle though, jumping off the Platonic dialogues, went thru and either carried some concepts straight forward or corrected them technically. One should consult both Plato and Aristotle.

See as a Science grows, it becomes more specific and then engages in more classification and differentiation. In the beginning of Wisdom, all things would be considered Wisdom. As the science grew, things were broken off and become their own science. Wisdom is all encompassing though.

Dikaios and Moderation are Laws of Nature, or Natural law. They fall under Wisdom.

You are correct that Wisdom does manifest itself as courage, moderation, righteousness and piety. A good man does that. But these virtues are NOT acquired by contemplation and/or dialectics. Plato in the Republic states quite clearly that teenagers growing up are to be trained in virtue--then engage in philosophy. Philosophy COMES AFTER the attainment of Virtue. (I hope you read this thread, esp. my posts, because some of this is already covered.)

To better see this, The Good is what Man must attain to. Wisdom and Virtue act together to gain the Good. It is """The Good""" that Plato stresses. Wisdom is necessary to know The Good. The Telos is The Good, not wisdom in and of itself. In order to come to The Good, requires Virtue, that makes a man good, and Wisdom that directs the man to The Good.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

You must understand the Natural Law that Heraclitus comes to, "The road up is the road down". Wisdom and Virtue are like that. It is a mystery that can not be fully understood or explained.

One needs Virtue to come to Wisdom and Wisdom to know what the Virtues are and do. "The Way up is the Way down". It is a Natural Law.

It is all very nebulous. We can know the parameters, we can't know the mystery of the union.

Daniel Smith said...

Yes. Love is a feeling

So God has feelings?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Yes. The Bible has God telling the Hebrews that He is a "Jealous God". The psalms talk of his wrath. And my favorite psalm has him "laughing to scorn" those thrown in Hell.

We are made in the image of God. We have emotions and who put them there is God. We are minature gods in a sense. God loves us, loves creation, etc.

Look at Jesus. Jesus said, "Who has seen me, has seen the Father". Jesus wept, Jesus got angry. Jesus was suprised. Jesus felt anguish. If Jesus could do all those things---So does God the Father.

Rupert said...

W. LindsayWheeler,

I cannot understand what your criteria are for what counts as an inordinate indulgence in bodily pleasure. I could make an educated guess that you probably agree with the official teachings of the Catholic Church. But I don't really know how you would get there on the basis of reason alone.

One could easily enough imagine a married couple using pornography to spice up their sex lives; I am sure such cases must be quite common. Is that an inordinate indulgence in bodily pleasure? What about foreplay prior to the sex act?

I don't know what your criteria are for what counts as "base" and what counts as an inordinate indulgence in bodily pleasure.

Radik said...

@W.LindsayWheeler

Emotions are psycho-somatic responses to changes of your personal relations to your environment. E.G. Sadness is a reaction to a loss of something you wanted. Joy is a reaction to obtaining something you wanted. Anger is a reaction to an obstacle to something you want to obtain. etc...

First, God has no body. Therefore he can have no emotions, since these involve a body.

Second, God is omniscient and omnipresent in time and space. Everything is before his mind like in an instant moment of time. Therefore his "environment", so to speak, does not change. He cannot react to any changes.

Third, for another reason he cannot react to any changes, because absolutely nothing can act on God. Rather everything else is acted upon by God.

God is an infinite, selfless giver, who gives without taking anything back in return, or diminishing anything in himself.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

@ Rupert

I thought your pornography question had to deal with men and internet pornography. I was answering to a general question and obeying the teachings of the Church and the demands of virtue. Also I was providing what Plato would have thought about it. Anything else, take it up with a professional and your conscience and God. I'm not here to justify whatever you are doing.

@Rudick

Human reasoning can not countermand the scriptures. You seem to be doing that. That is why Scripture is called "Divine Revelation" for.

All your reasons are "human reasons" perfectly logical--but not in accord with Scripture. If that is so, where is Mercy? Mercy is also an emotion, tied to some aspect of empathy. You may think God needs a body but he doesn't. Look at the behavior of angels. All the ghost stories of them showing emotion. If that was purely logically true, ghosts wouldn't get angry.

Just because he is omniscient doesn't prescribe emotion. Jesus was omniscient, knew what was going to happen to him, and yet he felt anguish. He felt spiritual pain. He had a love of his people and felt sorry for their impending destruction.

Human reasoning can not override Scripture. You are making yourself God instead of humbly recieving what God gives you. One must approach God in humility, as a child.

Rupert said...

W.LindsayWheeler,

I'm sorry that you got the idea that it was somehow about me. I was just interested in exploring the details of what your view was, that's all.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Okay, Rupert.
---
According to the fairness thing. This is the definition of fairness:
"Treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination..." from the Oxford English Dictionary.

First there is no such thing as "people". Aristotle writes, "To treat unequal things equally is unrighteousness".

What do you see in Nature? Does a farmer treat the cow and the horse the same? Do they recieve the same food? Do you treat ducks and chickens the same?

Nature is full of inequality and that inequality has inherent specific values that is inherent in its natures. You can't have a level playing field. Nature forbids that.

For instance are men and women equal? No. Is not treating women as men unrighteous? If this is true here, doesn't this extend to other spheres? Are children equal to adults? Do you treat children as equals? If you do that is unrighteousness.

The races of man are not equal. To treat them equally is unrighteousness. To say there are no differences is an act of nihilism. To say that there is no value in inherent differences is nihilism.

English culture is infused with the idea of fairness. Yes, in an homogeneous society, fairness is a decent value but in a racially diverse society, it becomes destructive. It destroys one's community cohesiveness if it dissallows discrimination to protect it's own cohesiveness. Fairness with different races, is an open door to take advantage of someone's magnanimity and to disempower the majority. Steve Sailor notices the vast outpouring of animus toward white men since the election. Of course, this orgy of insults has nothing to do with the unfair strength of white men, and everything to do with their weakness and fairness. Yes, their weakness and fairness. There is No such thing as a value free society. Minorities are not going to be playing "fair".

The Natural Law is "All things are either in Authority or in Subjection." (Aristotle, Politics) Either you rule or the minority rules but Nature has to have a ruler.

Lawrence Auster sees the end result of "fairness": "They don’t see that the left is practicing a single standard: the advance of radical notions of equality, inclusiveness, and “fairness” that must destroy the society. (From: How can the left insist that we look at minorities only as individuals, while simultaneously favoring minorities as groups?)

Fairness and tolerance are all based on the ideology of equality based in Marxism and progressive ideology. Fairness means there is no race nor group and the group can not act like a group. Is this fair? No. It is hypocrisy. At the basis of fairness is hypocrisy.

Prudence is guided by Wisdom. Wisdom is about reading reality right and knowing the dictates of God. Any sort of fairness and tolerance, are not virtues, but attitudes to certain situations that must be guided by Prudence informed by Wisdom.

Rupert said...

W. LindsayWheeler,

Seems to be a bit of a change of topic.

You made the statement "The races of man are not equal." Can you give some examples? In what respects are they not equal?

Radik said...

W.LindsayWheeler said...

"Human reasoning can not countermand the scriptures."

True. But at the same time, there can be no contradiction between Holy Scripture and the truths of reason.

The Scriptural terms, which ascribe emotions to God, are not to be taken univocally but analogously. The effects which God produces are sometimes similiar to the effects which follow our emotions.

So, if we speak of God being merciful, this means that he acts as if he had our emotion of mercy.

Also, it is the common teaching of the Church that not everything in the Scriptures is to be taken univocally. If I remember right, the Catechism of Trient says this explicitly.

St. Thomas takes also this position (see his commentary on the "Divine Names" by (Pseudo-)Dionysius).

Mr. Green said...

W.LindsayWheeler: All your reasons are "human reasons" perfectly logical--but not in accord with Scripture. If that is so, where is Mercy? Mercy is also an emotion, tied to some aspect of empathy. You may think God needs a body but he doesn't. Look at the behavior of angels. All the ghost stories of them showing emotion. If that was purely logically true, ghosts wouldn't get angry.

It's... well, not funny... that you of all people have swallowed the "Enlightenment" perversion of love as an emotion when it's the exact opposite. (Mercy is also not an emotion, of course.)

What is funny is that you do not consider logic a valid tool for Scriptural exegesis. But ghost stories are.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

So I have Daniel Smith, and Radick and now a Mr. Green that challenge my assertion that God shows emotion. Some of these guys assert that Love is not an emotion.

But it seems funny, that not a one of them tell me what "Love" is. If God loves--if it isn't an emotion, what is it?

Instead of dancing around and poking me, would someone please tell me where "love" comes from God? Or what is "love" that God has? Or do I have to be tortured to death here.

I have not heard of this '"Enlightenment" perversion of love as an emotion' either.

And then to top it off, you go look at their linked names to find out more about them--and there is nothing. Why link your names if there is nothing there. Who are you people?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

And can you Rupert explain to me why they are equal?

Because as Socrates would demand the principle of consistency could you please tell me why a Hereford cow is equal to a Holstein, and Belgium horse with quarter horse, and how a donkey is equal to a mule. Please explain to me how these are equal to as well.

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